Curtis Dahlgren
Whom the gods wish to con, they first make illiterate
By Curtis Dahlgren
October 21, 2011

"How can this man know letters, having never learned? . . . Can anything good come out of Samaria?" — The Bible

There are some sentences that should never be completed:

"America has been good to us, but . . . "
"Thanks for the history lesson, but . . . "
"Public education can be improved, but . . . "

Far be it from me to bash teachers, BUT- I am the education Establishment's worst nightmare. I attended a one-room country school and I learned how to read in six weeks' worth of kindergarten. I overheard more American history in first grade than today's teachers hear in 4 years of college! In fact, a poll recently revealed that most seniors in our 'top-notch' universities couldn't identify George Washington as the general of the Revolutionary army. There is a Santa Claus, but there is no "father of our country"?

America's kids now know "Memorial Day" as "the day the pools open." They don't even know what the word "commemorates" means. I've run into three grads of the high school I attended who didn't know what the fourth of July commemorates. A fellow worker was once asked that question, and he said, "Fireworks!" When we gave him a clue, "England," he said, "Beatles!"

Even the majority of Brits today know very little about their Empire and can't even identify the people who are pictured on their money. But Elton John is a "knight"! Whom the gods wish to enslave, they first make illiterate, and this is all by design:

Prime Minister Thatcher said, "Be warned. A powerful, radical left-wing clerisy is bent on destroying what every past generation would have understood to be the central purpose of education — that is, allowing (in the words of Edmund Burke) individuals to 'avail themselves of the general bank and capital of nations, and of ages.'

"A society needs only one generation to abandon the task of learning and transmitting its culture, for that culture to become an alien, lifeless irrelevance . . . [and] the cultural revolutionaries will drown out what Lincoln called 'the mystic chords of memory' with jarring cacophony. . . . " [National Review, 12/22/97]

As her friend President Reagan had had the gall to tell the United Nations General Assembly in his farewell address:

"The deliberations of great leaders and great bodies are but overture . . . the truly majestic music, the music of freedom, of justice, and peace is the music made in forgetting self and seeking in silence the will of Him who made us."

Big Education's 'Establishment' that Thatcher referred to no longer hides its true agenda. Did you ever wonder why "history" disappeared from the curricula and became lumped under the umbrella of "social science"? A few years ago at its national conference, the National Council for the Social Studies had as its slogan "TRANSFORMING CULTURES, Past Present and Future."

Which, being translated, means "Rewriting the past so as to transform the present culture into a more politically correct future (my source for this information was from an actual badge worn at their national "conference"). As George Orwell said, "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past [i.e., history]."

This they have accomplished, incrementally of course. The very first priority was to say that the Founding Fathers were Deists. Then after a decade or two of that, they talked about "a more HONEST history" in which the rest of the "myths" about the "founders" were tossed out; the natural next step was to simply stop talking about them in any way except negative terms: slave owners and Dead White English Boys (DWEEBS, etc.).

These "Establishment" educators want the masses to be just literate enough to read a ballot, but not so literate as to study issues on their own and make up their own minds (for that purpose, it's better to "study" TV and the movies than books). In Florida in 2000, they found out that some of their "alumni" couldn't even read a ballot, but in the long run they are achieving their intended consequences, their designed effects. A land without positive role models.

We have gone from one extreme to another. In the 1830s, the Philadelphia Public Library refused to keep any works of Thomas Jefferson because he was unable to "comprehend" the trinity, and therefore "pursued by relentless clerical hatred" ("Jefferson" by Padover, abridged, p. 120). Going from one ditch to the other, Jefferson is now good for just one thing, serving as High Priest for the freedom "from" religion crowd, even though he actually attended religious services in the Capitol Building and issued day-of-prayer proclamations as Governor of Virginia. He believed the states had more latitude in such matters than the Federal government. [Church services were also held in the Supreme Court building.]

In the bill for establishing religious freedom for Virginia, Jefferson said "[We] do enact that . . . all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities." Tell that to a Federal judge today, and you'd better duck; he might throw the book at you! We and our Commonwealth brethren have come full circle.

On September 17, 2003 Canada's House of Commons passed a "hate-crimes" bill that essentially classifies the Bible as "hate-literature" (because of what it says about homosexuality). Quoting certain parts of it could win you up to five years in prison! This law is the long-planned result of decades of social engineering in the public schools. And these results are coming to a school near you. Yes Virginia, today's "Book Burners" are the National Council for the Social Studies, the faculties of our infamous "Schools of Education," and those who give them their moral support, including — dare I say it? — even your friendly local librarian in your local school's study hall or "homeroom"!

Speaking of books, in just one generation we have gone from Treasure Island to Gilligan's Island to Fantasy Island to Temptation Island!

And you call this "evolution" Mr./Ms. Teacher? What're you talkin' about, Willis? You're trying to con me, right?

P.S. This is a rerun of my third column (that was September 21, 2003). "Big Education issues" are as pertinent as they were back in "ought-three." Public education is worse than ever.

As Victor Davis Hansen said in 2010:

"When I joined [Cal State, Fresno], the remediation rate was about 35%; when I left, 21 years later, over 50% of the incoming freshmen needed remedial math and English."

College students are even weaker in geography and economics, but they sure do know their sex — thanks to public education! [More about that next week maybe.]


"Woe to those who are at ease . . you who put 'far away' the evil day . . who eat calves from the best of the stall . . who sing idle songs . . who drink wine out of bowls and annoint themselves with the finest oils, but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!" — Amos

As I said, last week's column was inspired by a friend whose nickname was Amos, who lived a hard short life, but was always seeking "something better" out of religion than she found. WELL, her life's story could yet have a happier ending than Omar Kadaffy's. He already has two strikes against him (Pan Am flight 103 and despotism at home).

I am apprehensive about the "regime" that will follow him, but I rest in the belief that God will straighten out this world's tribalism and sufferings - even if it takes a thousand years.

"Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom judgment was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God . . . They came to life again, and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

"And the rest of the dead lived not again until the 1,000 years were ended


© 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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