Curtis Dahlgren
Start preaching to your friendly local news-undertaker (media)!
By Curtis Dahlgren
March 21, 2013

"Political correctness is just tyranny with manners, so I wish for you to be un-popular. Popularity is just history's pocket change. But couragecourage is history's true currency." - Charlton "Moses" Heston (to the Arizona House of Representatives)

"Curiouser and curiouser!' cried Alice. – Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)

SPEAKING OF HISTORY, I'm so old that I was conceived a month before Pearl Harbor. Pearl was a classmate of mine. I'm well into my 72nd year if you count my conception date, and I do, but I can still remember the first question I ever asked: "How do wars start?"

I was a farm boy of about four going on fourteen. I drove a tractor and a 1-ton truck before I knew how to ride a bicycle. Our parents never tried to get us to believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or any other free stuff. Farm boys already knew where babies come from and that nothing is free. After that, everything else is obvious. Even God was "common knowledge" to us. Everything was obvious except:

- How do wars start?

- How did Hitler get so much power?

- How could it happen here?

"Burke said there were Three Estates in Parliament; but in the Reporters' Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more important than they all." - Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

Hitler bought the cooperation of most preachers with flattery and platitudes. He always knew he could buy the press with money. He just didn't know he could get them so cheaply!

Lyndon Johnson said that reporters are puppets; they respond to the strongest strings. A wise man used to call the seminaries "cemetaries"; that's where people go to bury the Bible. Well, our contemporary news media are the undertakers:

"Which stories shall we carry and which stories shall we bury?"

The A.P.
is where journalists go to bury the 800-pound gorilla. The Associated Press is a virtual burial-ground for ancient elephants-in-the-room (news stories that most people really don't want to hear anyway)! And Jay Carney ought to get an Emmy and an Academy Award. Here are a few excerpts from Lewis Carroll's best, not necessarily in order, but:

"What I tell you three times is true."

"That's not the regular rule: you invented it just now!" said Alice.

"It's the oldest rule in the book," said the King.

"Then it ought to be number one," said Alice.

"UN-important," the King hastily said, and went on to himself in an undertone, ". . important – unimportant – unimportant – important "- as if he were trying which word sounded best.

"Curiouser and curiouser," said Alice.

The queen was in a furious passion, and went stamping about, and shouting . . "Off with her head!" about once a minute. [end excerpts]

TODAY'S KIDS may not even know anyone who lives on a farm anymore, or know anyone named Alice. My mother came from a family of 13. There were literally 7 brides for 7 brothers in that bunch. Those 13 produced about 56 first cousins. And since my mother's maiden name was Greenberg, there were implications and ramifications involved in the Hitler saga there. We didn't know who was going to win the war for the first four years of my life.

KIDS FORGET. Especially when they're never taught. They can't even name our WWII enemies. I was talking to a young voter who was born in 1993. She's too young to even remember President Clinton, let alone Hitler!

Hitler, like Napoleon, was never one to waste a crisis. When I asked my mother how wars start, she probably said something about human nature, and how one thing leads to another. This is the 100th anniversary of the inauguration of Woodrow Wilson, the professor "who kept us out of war," then sold it as "the war to end all wars." World War I set in motion events that had repercussions in the Weimar Republic of Germany and Bolshevik Russia.

"Man exploits man. Under Communism [and Fascism], it's the other way around."


I promised to write shorter columns, which is hard to do – given the number of stories the media bury every day (did you know that over 70,000 people have died in the Syrian "civil war" and that America is involved?). It's not just the economy stupid. Not when we're giving billions and billions in foreign aid. Here are some famous quotations:

- "Millions for defense but not one damned penny for tribute." – the John Adams administration to the French

- "Not one more cent for ransom." – Thomas Jefferson to the Barbary pirates (paraphrased)

- "Billions for Egypt, Gaza, and the Arab Spring. Period. End of discussion. Who are you? I am the throne." – President Aboma (paraphrased)

PPS: I'm not saying he's our Hitler. I'm saying he's our Hindenberg!

© 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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