Curtis Dahlgren
August 10, 2016
The ides of August: An honest version of "college orientation week"
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By Curtis Dahlgren

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

A MAILMAN knocks on an apartment door with a registered letter. The parakeet goes "Who is it?" and the mailman repeats himself. This happens several times more and the mailman gets so exasperated that he collapses on the floor with a heart attack. A neighbor comes up the stairs, sees the guy, and says "Who is it?" The parakeet says:

"It's the mailman."

Moral of the fable? The first thing you need to know about your alma mater is that it wants to control how you think. It says it is for diversity, but what it really wants is homogenized thought – group think. Simply put, most modern colleges and universities want to turn you into parakeets or parrots. After four expensive years you will be able to repeat talking points back to your professors.

They want to liberate you from all that crap your parents and churches have been feeding you. They will tell you which news outlets to watch, if you must watch. It's even better if you ignore the news and just let them rewrite history (both past and present). Thus it's time again for my annual classic, "College orientation week":

"Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it and at whom it is aimed." – Josef Stalin

"The snowman is, of course, white and invariably male . . . His ritual location in the semi-public space of garden or yard imaginatively reinforces a spatial social system, marking women's 'proper' sphere as the domestic-private and men's as the commercial-public . . " – University of Birmingham (UK) professor of art history

EVEN OUR LIFE-LONG DEMOCRAT NEIGHBORS are sick of the political correctness promoted by Big Box Education (bet you didn't know that when you made snowmen you were being a dastardly sexist pig, did you?). And just think what a snow-angel says about you backward moss-backed flat-earthers in the eyes of our "Best & Brightest"! According to them, there are now 31 flavors of genders and at least 12 appropriate pronouns for them, and if you question authority now, you are being "simplistic."

SERIOUSLY, as Will Rogers said, "There is nothing so ignorant as the educated man if you get him off the thing he was educated in."

America has been the most creative nation on the planet for over 200 years. We not only invented baseball, football, and basketball, but the bulk of the world's technology. A lot of credit for that goes to the engineering majors from our universities, but sadly, many of them don't notice that the old alma mater has become increasingly anti-business, anti-Christian, and now even anti-Semitic and pro-Islamic. America would be better off if the universities had never gotten involved in the "soft sciences" – the social engineering that has given us the soft nanny-state (plus unsustainable debt). We now know the "social scientists" by their fruits and nuts. They think we're nuts, but I'm going to post this column every August for as many Augusts as America survives:

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

- "I think everyone should go to college and get a degree and then spend six months as a bartender and six months as a cab driver. Then they would really be educated." – Al McGuire (coach, Marquette WARRIORS)*

- "It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense." – Robert Green Ingersoll

-"An educated person is one who has learned that information almost always turns out to be at best incomplete and very often false, misleading, fictitious, mendacious – just dead wrong." – Russell Baker

- "It's not that our liberal friends are ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so." – Ronald Reagan

- "For us in Russia communism is a dead dog. For many people in the West, it is still a log lion . . Blow the dust off the clock. Your watches are behind the times. Throw open the heavy curtains which are so dear to you – you do not even suspect that the day has already dawned." – Alexander Solzhenitsyn

- "An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." – Arthur Miller

- "Learning, n. The kind of ignorance distinguishing the studious . . . That which discloses the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding." – Ambrose Bierce

- "An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don't." – Anatole France
  • "Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance." – Will Durant

  • "Education is learning what you didn't even know you didn't know." – Daniel Boorstin

  • "Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants. – John W. Gardner

  • "The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives." – Robt. Hutchins

  • "Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another." – G.K. Chesterton
Lady Margaret Thatcher said, "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.'"

Most educrats these days have no intention of passing on our society's soul to the next generation! They would rather introduce 'Generation Snowflake' to perpetual change, new political paradigms, evolving standards of decency, and "NEW" morality.

Alexis de Tocqueville warned us: "Because Roman civilization perished through barbarian invasions, we are perhaps too much inclined to think that that is the only way a civilization can die."

Tony Blair said, "We will not win this battle against this global extremism unless we win it on the level of values as well as force."


At about the same time, British academe launched a new program called (euphemistically) "Secure Values" that eliminates any teaching of right and wrong – "to relieve schools of the need to teach British Heritage." [Quoted by Rush Limbaugh, August 1, 2006] How's that working out for them, and us?

CONCLUSION: "Alas, the academy today is obsessed with the trivial and the trashy, relentlessly focused on sexual politics, and gripped by a deep antagonism to tradition that has degenerated into a new absolutism." – Jim Nelson Black ("Freefall of the American University")

P.S. The statistic has been cited that "less than 25% of adults in the United States have political conversations with people they don't agree with" (On Wisconsin magazine, fall 2014). Paradoxically, the percentage of people at the academy who have had such conversations is even lower, much lower, because 90-some percent of the professors are liberal and seldom meet anyone with whom they disagree! And the students feel it best to keep their mouths shut, because the professors don't want any of that "winnowing and sifting."

PPS: "A child educated only at school is an UNEDUCATED CHILD." – George Santayana

"A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy, or perhaps both." – James Madison

© 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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