Curtis Dahlgren
You can always "tell" a professor, but not very much; part 1
By Curtis Dahlgren
March 25, 2010

"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first." — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

"I know, and all the world knows, that revolutions never go backward."
William Henry Seward (1801-1872)

"A country governed by a despot is an inverted cone." — Samuel Johnson

YOU MAY BE A MARXIST IF YOU THINK YOU'RE ALWAYS THE SMARTEST PERSON IN THE ROOM (even Albert Einstein's teachers thought they were too, you know).

You may be a Marxist if you think that rednecks are the dumbest people on earth. Not necessarily true! During my working days, I had different employers and many different foremen, but I learned something from every single one of them — even ones that I didn't get along with!

You may be a Marxist if you've never even considered learning anything from those right-wingers, or those "Dead White Anglo-Saxon Males" of long, long ago.

ACTUALLY, that wasn't that long ago. My grandparents were born in the late 1870s, roughly 50 years after Jefferson and Adams died. If Lincoln hadn't been assassinated, and had lived another 10-12 years or so, my grandparents could have been contemporaries of Abraham Lincoln. I don't mean my great-grandparents; my own father and mother were born roughly 50 years after John Quincy Adams died — and he was 12 years old when the Declaration of Independence was signed.

ANYWAY, it pains me to see people who aren't dry behind the ears yet trying to lecture or "sell" us on the wonders of Marxism or socialism. I'm still in shock over the election of this "kinder, smarter" seller of "compassion" (the most divisive President in American history, bar none). I am literally in shock the way things are going.

I stand in front of my refrigerator with the door open, wondering what I came for; then I realize that I was on my way to the microwave to get my lunch.

I get up at 1:30 in the morning and turn on the bathroom light, and I'll stand there wondering what I came in there for sometimes.

Even lying in bed sometimes, I'll say, "What am I doing here?" To whom that may concern, I'm being partly facetious, but he has totally screwed up my body clock. I think we should get even with all the professors in this country and start messing with their heads too. Let's see the humor in the situation.

"Soap and education are less deadly than a massacre, but more deadly in the long run . . . I never let schooling interfere with my education." — Mark Twain (1835-1910)

In the spirit of Joe the Veep, let's all go rent "Back to School," the movie with Rodney Dangerfield. Like Rodney, I have dreams of going back to school someday. By that I mean I have these literal recurring night dreams that I'm back in college — only I'm on an athletic scholarship — surrounded by admiring coeds. For a sexagenarian out of high school for 50 years, that's pretty creative dreaming. As Joe Biden must often say about his speeches,

"Who writes this stuff anyway?"

So far I haven't actually had a dream about being in class listening to a professor. That would be a nightmare. Why do you think the campuses are 60/40, females to males? It's because since at least the 60s, Higher Ed has been from Venus and it drives men nuts.

So- to honor the sort-of signing of a sort-of "reform" bill that has to go back to the House for another sort-of vote (and to the courts), today I'd like to repost one of my favorite columns for you newer readers. After spring break, you could sneak this into the luggage of your college kids:

"College Orientation Week II (and the first frost of August)"

"If our government is not going to hold our taxpayer-supported academic institutions accountable, then we must." — Chuck Norris ("Black Belt Patriotism")

"Send me men to match my mountains." — inscription, State Capitol complex in Sacramento, CA

THOSE KINDS OF MEN SEEM TO BE FLEEING CALIFORNIA THESE DAYS. As a "laboratory experiment," the state of California is the end-result of a system of Higher Education that has been out of control ever since S.I. Hayakawa left it. The protesters who used to sit in the gutters of the street now seem to be sitting on the benches of Federal courts of appeal. Even the U.S. Supreme Court will soon be filled with people whose

primary qualification is knowing the politically correct definition of "empathy."

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist . . . What I must do is all that concerns me, not what people think."

Years ago, a college professor in Chicago used to tell his students on the first day of class that their goal should be to become really educated — and that they could not consider themselves really educated unless they could answer "yes" to the following questions:

- "Can you look an honest man or a pure woman straight in the eye?"

- "Will a lonely dog follow you down the street?"

- "Do you think washing dishes or hoeing corn is as compatible with high thinking as piano playing or golf?"

- "Could you be happy alone?"

- "Can you look into the sky at night and see beyond the stars?"

[excerpted from "Leaves of Gold," 11th edition (subtitled "An Anthology of Prayers, Memorable Phrases, Inspirational Verse and Prose from the Best Authors of the World, Both Ancient and Modern")]

MAYBE if we had more good "Prose" in our lives, we wouldn't need so much Prozac or so many sleeping pills. Many tears have been shed since we stopped looking "beyond the stars." If tears were "telescopes," September 11, 2001 should have brought God into very sharp focus, but instead, our "popular culture" and the media have moved us totally in the opposite direction, ironically.

"Kings will be tyrants [through] policy, when subjects are rebels from principle . . . Learning will be cast into the mire, and trodden under the hoofs of a swinish multitude." — Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

Higher education considers itself the very avant-garde, or vanguard, of "societal evolution," but radio host Michael Savage says that society has "sunk to a point lower than Rome or the Wiemar Republic in Germany." I agree, and so would the writers in "Leaves of Gold":

    "Educate men without religion and you make them but clever devils." — Duke of Wellington (1769-1852)

    "True religion is the foundation of society. When that is once shaken by contempt the whole fabric cannot be stable or lasting." — Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

    "Learning is not wisdom: knowledge is not necessarily vital energy. The student who has to cram through a school or college course, who has made himself merely a receptacle for the teacher's thoughts and ideas, is not educated; he has not gained much. He is a reservoir, not a fountain. One retains, the other gives forth." — J.E. Dinger

An anonymous author in "Leaves of Gold" gets down to the "nitty-gritty":

"Few things could be culturally more deplorable than that today the average college graduate, who fancies himself educated, should never have read the book of Job, should be unfamiliar with Isaiah, and should be hardly able to identify those mighty men of valor, Joshua, Gideon, [etc.] . . .

"For this is nothing less than a loss of racial memory, a forgetfulness of our cultural heritage that is as serious in the life of nations as is for the individual the loss of personality attendant upon neurotic disease."

Higher Education is simply a modern twist on the so-called Inquisition and "Crusades." The agenda of Academia is a jihad against anyone who refuses to sing PC doxologies such as "there are no differences between the sexes." A sheepskin from Harvard these days is no longer worth the paper it's printed on, given ex-president Larry Summers' capitulation to political correctness, with apologies, plus his firing for contemplating both sides of an issue.

Other examples are too numerous to mention in one column, but much of "higher learning" is now worth no more than a clock that's right twice a day. It's not WORKING! So, the word-for-the-day, boys and girls, is "heresy":

"Etymologically, a heresy is a 'choice' one makes . . Greek hairesis 'choice' [is] a derivative of hairein 'take or choose.' This was applied metaphorically to a 'course of action or thought which one chooses to take,' hence a school of thought,' and, ultimately, to a 'faction' or 'sect.' . . .

"Another derivative of hairein, incidentally, was diairein [meaning] 'divide' . . ." — John Ayto (Dictionary of Word Origins)

In the earlier history of the "university," there had almost always been "two schools of thought" — except under totalitarian governments or monolithic P.C. faculties. Today, although "choice" is a popular catch-word, real freedom of choice, the right to one's own thoughts, to conscience, is now deemed "divisive" by the powers-that-be.


The word "division" does not equate with "evil." Normally it equated with "academic freedom" — now a long-forgotten concept ("critics" of Ann Coulter, please take note).

The best quotation of the month was by the renowned scientist James Lovelock, age 90-plus:

"I think you have to accept that the sceptics have kept us sane — some of them, anyway. They have been a breath of fresh air. They have kept us from regarding the science of climate change as a religion. It had gone too far that way." [The UK Sunday Times; March 14, 2010] Or as G.K. Chesterton put it:

"No man who worships education has got the best out of education . . . Without a gentle contempt for education no man's education is complete."

As for good news, Dr. Daniel Benischick from Iron Mountain is running against Bart Stupak (I think I spelled his name right). Michigan needs all the help it can get, because another Congressman from Michigan uttered the most infamous words of the whole year so far:

When asked why the much-hyped "reforms" won't take effect until 2013 or 2014, in a moment of uncustomary honesty for a Lefty, he said that in a country of "300 people," it takes time to put in place the "administrative" means [150+ new agencies] to (quote) "CONTROL THE PEOPLE."

Enough said yet?

P.S. Just a couple more of my favorite quotations:

"To strip our past of glory is no great loss, but to deny it honor is devastating." — Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan

"Propaganda is the art of persuading others of what one does not believe oneself." — Abba Eban

PPS: This Administration knows that Social Security's intake is already into the red and we obviously cannot afford all the new "reforms," but it has spent almost a year and a half on ramming this down our throats. There aren't enough P.R. firms in the whole world to make this "change" fiscally feasible, but they are in full campaign mode to "sell" it anyway — even if it takes another year and a half to "WIN." What a hollow sham that "victory" would be. It's a scam not even as worthy as the climate change debate. And that's pretty bad!

© Curtis Dahlgren


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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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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