Curtis Dahlgren
When cunning lies pass for wisdom; past, present, and future
By Curtis Dahlgren
November 21, 2013

"The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." – Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

"The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism." – George Washington (Farewell Address)

HE WENT ON TO SAY: "A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position."

In other words, beware of politicians bearing "gifts." Those 'confounded' Founders repeatedly talked about human nature, the danger of centralized power, and potential tyranny – even in America (no wonder the Founding Fathers are made the "bad guys" in public schools). It's high time for a review of history (history is past politics and politics is current history, someone said). You've probably seen most of the following quotations, but certainly not in this order:

"Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." – George Orwell

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


"There is a demand for men today who can make wrong appear right." – Publius Terentius Aferl (190-159 BC)

"The enemies of the future are always the nicest people." – Christopher Marley (1890-1957)

"The promise given was a necessity of the past: the word broken is a necessity of the present." – Niccolo Machiavelli in "The Prince"

And a few words more from ol' Nick:

"No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution."

- "Severities should be dealt out all at once, so that their suddenness may give less offense; benefits ought to be handed out drop by drop, so that they may be relished the more."

- "Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions."

as William Cowper put the problem: "THE GOD OF OUR IDOLATRY, THE PRESENT . . " [eat, drink, and be merry?]



"Nothing doth hurt more in a state than that the cunning pass for wise . . . There is in human nature more of the fool than of the wise." – Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it," said George Santayana – who also said:

" A child educated only at school is an uneducated child"! [There must be a warning in there somewhere.]

A couple of weeks ago I defended parochial schools even though I'm neither Catholic or Protestant. When I said "our religion," I was referring to our generic Judeo-Christian roots. And if someone is martyred just for bearing the name of Christ, I consider that a brother, and when one religion is attacked, we are essentially all attacked.

BY THE WAY, the church-state controversies are simply turf battles by lawyers. Some of the clergy are protective of their turf too, and they think that laymen should just shut up about matters of religion. Which reminds me of a story in Numbers, chapter 11:

"A young man ran and told Moses, 'Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.'

"And Joshua the minister of Moses said, 'My lord, forbid them!'

"But Moses said to him, 'Are you jealous for my sake?
Would that ALL the Lord's people were prophets, that the Lord would put His spirit upon them!'"

Russia suffered over 70 years of state-mandated atheism because the Lord's "people" did nothing to stop Bolshevism when it could have been stopped!

As Burke roughly put it, "The only thing needed for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." [One of these days I'm going to post a column of quotations by Brits who only had a name starting with "B"! It will be a hoot.]

Burke once said: "To lament the past, to conceive extravagant hopes of the future, are the common dispositions of the greatest part of mankind."

Benjamin Disraeli said, "We have legalized confiscation, consecrated sacrilege, and condoned high treason."

Francis Bacon said, "Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper . . . Men must pursue things which are just in present, and leave the future to divine Providence."

P.S. Just to put all these quotations in context:

On Sunday, appearing on ABC's This Week with fill-in host Martha Raddatz, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) admitted that Democrats knew full well that Americans would be booted from their health insurance plans as an effect of Obamacare implementation . . .

She added that . . "The redistributive nature of Obamacare, was the point of the program; anyone claiming ignorance, therefore, is not telling the truth." {from]

PPS: Old Saint Nick – Uncle Sam Santa Claus – would like to have a monopoly on charity, but he has taken a big hit lately. I want to give privately this week to the Red Cross, and to the Philippines through my church. As I've said before, I lived in Washington, Illinois for a short while years ago, so that tornado really got my attention. I'm thankful that it missed Eureka College and the Metamora Courthouse, the stomping grounds for two U.S. Presidents.

We had just as many tornadoes in the 1960s, but they seemed to miss most of the small towns and almost all of the big cities. Towns have grown together though. With Peoria, Washington, and Metamora almost a metro area, it's hard for them to miss houses. And in the book of Job, we find out that there were storms long before cars and trucks! I wonder if the fanatics blamed storms on chariot-horse flatulence?

As a farm boy, I always thought horses passed more gas than cows – who have four stomachs and therefore digest their food very well. But our milk-and-beef producers have a target painted on their back (even during deer season).

WELL, I will leave you with that thought until next week. But more to come.

© Curtis Dahlgren


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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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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