Curtis Dahlgren
Don't worry, be happy; a morning-after pill is coming (eventually)
By Curtis Dahlgren
May 15, 2010

"To educate a [person] in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society." — Theodore Roosevelt

MORALITY INCLUDES HONESTY IN ECONOMICS AND OTHER MINOR DETAILS SUCH AS CONSTITUTIONALITY. As someone at the Weekly Standard pointed out, the confirmation of Elena Kagan would leave the Supreme Court, once again, with only two Justices who earned their bachelor's degrees outside of the Northeastern "ivy" region (poison ivy).

The spin that Kagan will help make the Court look more like America rings hollow. There are no liberal "Blacks" — or any Protestants — on the Court. The Commander-in-chief could have solved both of these problems by nominating Jeremiah Wright, but alas it was not to be.

Seriously though "folks," I forgot to mention, for my April column-of-the-month I might nominate Gene Lyons of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Writing about the 2008 Wall Street "problems," he had a great opening quote from Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels" (1726):

"There was a society of men among us, bred up from their youth in the art of proving by words multiplied for the purpose, that white is black, and black is white, according as they are paid. . . For example, if my neighbor hath a mind to my cow, he hires a lawyer to prove that he ought to have my cow from me. I must then hire another to defend my right . . "

WOW! Human nature doesn't change much in 300 years, does it (except for the worse)? Our Founding Families in the 1700s taught that our Rights come from God, and no one but no one almost disagreed with that premise, and it was written into the Declaration of Independence. If Jonathan Swift were writing today, academia would run him out of the literary class so fast it would make your head spin. He would probably be banned in Britain and die penniless — in prison — for "hate speech" (or be boycotted in America by Homeland Security).

Speaking of cows though, I heard a good joke on Mother's Day. I was on a 3-hour trip further north, and noticed that the church parking lots were jam-packed, so I turned on the radio and jammed to some music by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I also heard some other congregations singing hymns I hadn't heard in ages, the most memorable being the one set to the tune of Finlandia. How the words go I've even forgotten. It must be old age or a brain lock (there are a lot of Finns up here, incidentally).

Anyway, as I was driving past a bay on Lake Michigan, I heard a pastor's Mother's Day sermon. He told a joke about a farmer who had a cow for sale. A stranger came to buy her, and they agreed on a price, and the stranger started to walk away with it. The farmer said, "Wait — show me the money."

"I'll pay you tomorrow," said the stranger. "It's okay; I'm an Episcopalian."

I think the farmer was a Swede, and so he let the stranger take the cow. He asked his wife, "What's an Episcopalian?"

"I don't know," said his wife, "but I think it's something like us Lutherans."

"O MY," said the farmer. "I'VE LOST THE COW."

Those four words made my day on a 6-hour round trip (I wondered if he could tell a cow joke on Mother's Day in New England these days). It takes guts to tell any jokes these days because of the hyper-sensitivity of the Victimology industry. That reminds me:

I heard another joke about the Iceland volcanic eruption. Could be a true story. Someone was talking to a journalist who was covering that story — the grounding of airline flights and so on — and he asked the reporter how the people of Iceland were doing? And she said:

"Who cares? They all look alike anyway." Sounds like the Nashville disaster, eh? Or didn't you hear about that one? Hardly anyone did.

Which reminds me: A journalist recently interviewed Michael Savage for 16 hours — and no, it wasn't the CIA or Interpol. It was an American "magazine" (and from what I hear, the 3-D centerfold isn't worth the money; their nudes essentially all look alike in any dimension). But the reporter's first question of the first hour was "WHY ARE YOU SO ANGRY?!"

Savage said, "This is how I look. You got a problem wit dat?" I paraphrase, but that wasn't a bad answer. My reply probably would have been "Why are you so blase and jaded, eh?"

— when I looked up the word blase, the first word I spotted was "bodice" — and I was trying to keep this column clean for a change!

But getting back to "the art of proving that white is black and black is white": You might say that smart is now dumb and "dumb" is smart. The Gene Lyons column said:

"How could so many allegedly brilliant people do something so dumb as to gamble the nation's — nay, the world's — financial system on shaky subprime real estate loans to millions of Americans drowning in debt? After all — as Michael Lewis points out in his trenchant book, 'The Big Short' — "the people who worked on the relevant Goldman Sachs mortgage bond trading desk were all extremely intelligent. They'd all done amazingly well in school and had gone to Ivy League universities." [Marinette Eagle-Herald, 4/23/10]

Yes, as they used to say, "Tis good for neither man nor beast when the wind is in the East." The Harvard endowment fund lost millions and millions of dollars at the same time the grads of its Business school were advising kings and Presidents. With no business experience whatsoever, the Prez says, "I am not naive." Timothy Geithner even says, "I am not an economist." Makes one wonder who's really running the country. Soros?

Not to digress, BUT — let's talk a little about the weather, too. On my trip to Marquette on Mother's Day I took pictures of the snow on Marquette Mountain. Some of the lawns in town still had snow on the ground. Even down in the U.P.'s banana belt where I live, we had frost three days in a row last week. My dog's water dish froze every day. By the way, I wonder if Algore bought a house in California to get away from the cold in Nashville? Lotsa luck if California falls into the Pacific Ocean (which evidently is NOT rising). I heard his house is next door to Dennis Miller's. That doesn't exactly sound like a Tim the Toolman type of neighborhood. I'd like to be a fly on the wall between those two houses if they ever speak to each other.

Not to digress again, BUT — I wrote a letter to our weekly newspaper this week, and here are some excerpts:


The headline on my previous letter read, "Green movement is extreme." That's not exactly what I said in the letter. The flaw in the slaw is that [the conventionally approved] ecology has devolved from stewardship and conservation by diverse voluntary groups and state governments to agenda-driven extremism by the dreaded central government "planners."

We the People are rapidly losing control of that bureaucracy, so I had recommended Michael Crichton's book "State of Fear," and here are some more excerpts from that:

- "I have been reading environmental texts for three years, in itself a hazardous undertaking. But I have had the opportunity to look at a lot of data, and consider many points of view." [Whatta novel idea, no pun intended.]

- "The current near-hysterical preoccupation with safety is at best a waste of resources and a crimp on the human spirit, and at worst an invitation to totalitarianism." [!!!]

- "We know astonishingly little about little about every aspect of the environment, from its past history, to its present state, to how to conserve and protect it. In every debate, all sides overstate the extent of existing knowledge and its degree of certainty."

- "Before making expensive policy decisions on the basis of climate models, I think it is reasonable to require that those models predict future temperatures accurately for a period of ten years." [Y'think?]

- "Everyone has an agenda. Except me."

YES! With our current three branches of government — Big Bro, Big Sis, and Big Nanny — emotional catch-phrases and bumper-sticker P.R. over-ride facts and disciplined science. Crichton wrote those words in 2004, and the earth is even somewhat cooler now than it was then. He said that we could transition away from fossil fuels "without legislation, financial incentives, carbon-conservation programs, or the interminable yammering of fearmongers." [Thus, the title of his book.]

The yammering class never gives up on a bad idea. I saw a recent International Wildlife Federation mag in which they are still saying that the ice in the Arctic could be gone by the summer of 2013 — the current cold facts notwithstanding.

Speaking of currents, the jet stream and ocean currents don't take the same tracks every year or every decade. If the Arctic Ocean warms on the Russian side, it can sometimes be attributed to taking a path between Iceland and Scandinavia proper instead of closer to Greenland. The latter course, along with a dominant southern jet stream can account for more of the warming of Greenland than any other factors, but as I say, the extremists in the greenie bunch never give up. Like a bunch of green bananas, they are turning yellow. Since the East Anglia scandals, even the UN IPCC is scared "s — less," to quote someone. Like rotten bananas, they are going "bad."

Crichton says, "In the 35 years since the environmental movement came into existence, science has undergone a major revolution . . . Yet these no-longer-new ideas have hardly penetrated the thinking of environmental activists [who seem oddly fixated on] the concepts and rhetoric of the 1970s . . .

"We desperately need a non-partisan, blinded funding mechanism to conduct research to determine appropriate policy. Scientists are only too aware [now] whom they are working for. Those who fund research — whether a drug company, a government agency, or an environmental organizationalways have a particular outcome in mind . . . I conclude that the 'exploiters of the environment' include environmental organizations, government organizations, and big business. All have equally dismal track records." [my emphasis]

The Yalies who are leading the charge on carbon-offset trading aren't even climatologists. They are from the Forestry Department — a picayune complaint, I suppose, when such Big Bucks are to be made (a little sarcasm there, Al).

Isn't it a hoot that some people still (a shrinking minority) put their trust in Big Government to be the be-all and end-all (oops, a Freudian slip there). I mean, isn't it a joke that they trust the same media and junk science that gave Time and Newsweek "The Coming Ice Age" and "Famine 1975"? Isn't it the mother-of-all-scams that the fate of nature, the economy, and our health care are now in the hands of internationalists who gave us the Zero Population Growth movement of the 70s?

Speaking of paradoxes, my nomination for column-of-the-week is by Frank Maguire ("Consensus and the paradox of the box").

As I said, human "nature" hasn't changed much at all in hundreds of years. Neither the field of economics nor the field of enviro-mental-ism is immune to tampering by the yammering social "scientists." Economics is one of the youngest disciplines, and ecology is even less fully understood, even though we are told the "debate" is over. What debate?

Maguire talks about a documentary on the Mayans, and how "conventional wisdom" can actually prevent advances in academic knowledge. In rare cases, advances have been made by people living under forced censorship, unaware of what they were "supposed" to think. God works in mysterious ways. Maguire says:

"The narrator on the documentary made a point of curiosity that [a Russian] soldier/student/scholar was allowed little access to outside scholarship because the Soviet government actively discouraged it. Therefore, this fellow was essentially unaware of and thus not influenced by extant studies, opinions, and conclusions arrived at by the scholars outside the Soviet Union.

"I found this to be a great irony. It is axiomatic that those who 'think outside of the box' contribute original thinking because they are not led or misled by peer influences — not induced to think like the group, in so-called consensus, for the sake of belonging and for the opportunities that belonging provides.

"In addition, it struck me as paradoxical that in the so-called free world, where the cult of the individual is acceptable, scholars appeared to be in the consensual thrall of those among their peers who had gained notoriety and who had become a caste of authority."

Great point! I just did a search of my own columns and found that I have used the word paradox or paradoxical at least once in 68 different columns, including the first one, "Is it kosher to be a realist?" This makes 69, if you're counting.

Life is a paradox, and one of the scariest is that those who are trying to "save the planet" may almost destroy it by killing off true science and using junk science to kill off the economy of the "civilized" world, without which the "uncivil" will be deep doo-doo, too!

Specifically, "the best and the brightest" now in desperate control of Uncle Sam — the internationalists who were the 60s and 70s hippies — are trying to ram through save-the-planet legislation by hook or "crook." They aren't "good shepherds" either, but they understand the sheep-like aspects of human nature. And how to use P.R. Their socio-economic "cures" (morning-after pills for the binge we've been on) are worse than the crises (created or otherwise).

Burke's "law of nature and of nations" still rules, but we now see manipulation of the news 24/7. The powers-that-think-they-be would just love to shut up the Internet and talk radio because there's "too much confusing information out there." The power-hungry class even calls its spurious cap-and-tax scheme the "American POWER Act"! No pun intended?


"The current near-hysterical preoccupation with safety [in mining and oil drilling, etc] is at best a waste of resources and a crimp on the human spirit, and at worst an invitation to totalitarianism. Public education is desperately needed."

Yes, more people die from murder in liberal-run cities in America in one week than have died in mines or on oil rigs this year. But that's "old news," right? Teddy Roosevelt's truism about educating people in mind but not morals is coming home to roost. We aren't even educating their minds anymore. A majority of politicians in this country can't name even one of the "rights" in the First Amendment, yet they want to boycott Arizona for exercising specific Constitutional rights!


© 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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