Curtis Dahlgren
Did the Iron Lady die laughing?
By Curtis Dahlgren
April 13, 2013

"Don't go wobbly on us, George." – Prime Minister Thatcher (to G.H.W. Bush, before the liberation of Kuwait)

MAGGIE WAS "ISOLATED" ON THE FALKLANDS. I'd just read an article about that shortly before her death. Official records show that she was even more "out on a limb" than we imagined. Her own party tended to put fingers into the air to find out which way the wind was blowing. All she cared about was her calculation that she was going to win the war for the Falkland Islands. As an old tree surgeon who's been out on a few limbs, I can't overstate my admiration for the Lady Maggie.

Meanwhile back in British Isles, lefties are partying to celebrate her death. As with President Reagan's passing, they are thinking "What took God so long?" Graffiti artists painted RUST IN PEACE on urban walls (as jokes go, that speaks volumes about the dumbing-down of modern western education). But the Anglo-American haters must be grateful to the New York Times for highlighting that graffiti at a time like this!

I had to ask "Did Maggie die laughing?" because she probably had heard the news that one-half of "disability check" recipients in England had "dropped out" of the program after finding out that they would need annual checkups to prove they were still "disabled." If she could, she probably would tell the RNC not to go wobbly on entitlement reforms over here! Crazy-check recipients should have to prove they're crazy – you would think! Last month almost as many Americans went on disability as found those "new jobs." As for Maggie, here's another quotation of hers:

"Western civilization would not be the first to reshape others in its own image, only to discover that it had lost the identity, confidence, and will to survive. Classical historians could provide useful warning to today's liberal politicians . . . " [National Review, 12/22/97] She also said:

"Cast your mind ahead a century . . . What we see in 2097 is an unstable world with more than a half dozen 'great powers' – all with their clients, all vulnerable if they stand alone, all able to increase their power and influence if they form the right alliance, and all engaged in perpetual diplomatic maneuvers to ensure that their position improve rather than deteriorate.

"In other words, 2097 might look like 1914 played out a larger stage."

Speaking of warnings, that was well-put, but we might not have to wait a whole century for WWIII. For what it's worth, the world can thank America's strength – up until now – that we haven't seen another world war yet.

WELL, I live in the U.P. of Michigan, where we are seeing the third of fourth incarnation of the winter of 2012-13, so I thought I'd rerun another one of my very early columns from here at RenewAmerica. See if this one doesn't sound just as timely and timeless as it did the first time, almost ten years ago:

September 21, 2003

Whom the gods wish to con, they first make illiterate

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, nor name the author of "government of the people, by the people, and for the people."

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."

The educational "Establishment" Mrs. 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]."

Conservatives see that as words of warning; liberals see that as their recipe for "success." In 1997, Maggie spoke in Washington DC at the International Conservative Congress, and she said:

"In the United States, the Republican Party again lost the Presidency; and though Republicans still thankfully control both the Senate and the House they seem – to a friendly foreignermore afflicted with self-doubt than circumstances warrant.

"And in Britain in 1997, just as in America in 1991, one of Thatcher's Laws came into play: Conservative governments which increase taxation lose elections."

Anyway, "don't go wobbly," but of course the fans of Big Box government have kept amassing power in Washington during the intervening years by ignoring our Constitutional principles. 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, angry white males, dead Europeans, etc.). [And 80 percent of New York City public school grads can't meet minimum reading standards?]

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 . . .

And in Canada, 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 PTA and curricla committee.

Speaking of transmitting our Culture, in just one generation we have gone from "Treasure Island" to Gilligan's Island to Fantasy Island to Temptation Island (from "Desperate Housewives to Eternity" I guess).

You call that Culture and "evolution" Mr./Ms. Liberal? What're you talkin' 'bout, Willis? You tryin' to con me?

For a couple of weeks I've been writing about ingrates. That's the best word for those who under-appreciate what Lady Thatcher did for the UK and the rest of the world (the Berlin Wall did fall, you know!).

I'll never forget whats-her-name.

Call her Miss True Grit. Call her our generation's Miss Liberty. R.I.P. !

Unless we change our ways and our direction," she said, "our greatness as a nation will soon be a footnote in the history books, a distant memory of an offshore island, lost in the mists of time like Camelot, remembered kindly for its noble past."

PPS: The way things are going, even those "mystic chords of memory" will be drowned out with jarring cacophony. Please phone home, America.

© Curtis Dahlgren


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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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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