Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Who Dares Call it Treason?

I should have been thinking about and composing my current novel in my head today at work, but instead the newest article from Thom Hartmann, an excerpt from his latest book, got under my skin and crawled around like an angry G'ould larva.  (Yes, that's a Stargate reference, for those who are paying attention.  I'm a SF geek... so what?)  Just this fact alone would cause the right to label me as one of the "liberal elite," which, translated from native Asshole into English, would be pronounced "literate."

The fact that Ronald Reagan, proclaiming that it was "not the role of government to subsidize intellectual curiosity," set in motion the chain of events in which now, decades later, a person must choose to mortgage a large chunk of his or her future to a bank or other financial institution in order to pursue a higher education, really, really pisses me off.

I've been worrying at it all night, trying to get my teeth around this truly disturbing notion.  This, the man who is often credited with almost single-handedly bringing down the Soviet Union, is actually also responsible for creating part of the reason the United States is on the verge of falling from its lofty perch as a world power.  Had an enemy state intended to bring down this nation from the inside, they could have hardly planned a better master stroke than to deprive it of its most talented minds by depriving the less advantaged the chance to pursue careers in engineering or the sciences.

In fact, it became increasingly necessary for those who attended university to seek careers that would earn them high incomes, if only to pay back their loans as quickly as possible lest they become, instead, long term serfs of the banking institutions that financed their educations.  Who could afford to become scientists, or teachers, or, indeed, take any job that served the common good, when the simple task of getting married and raising a family became an almost unreachable goal?

This, as we know, wasn't the only trend that Reagan began.  The 80s told us that "greed is good" and that "government is bad" and that you'd better learn to look out for number one because no one else would look out for you.  Then, over the course of the next thirty years, the pursuit of greater profit and profitability led American manufacturing companies to dismantle themselves and ship much of their work overseas, taking advantage of low wages, far fewer regulations, and tax breaks granted to those companies who became "more efficient."

Quite aside from the impact on the environment this had, it destroyed America's manufacturing base--the very thing that had allowed the United States to rise to the challenge of the Axis during WWII--putting all of those civilian factories on a war footing and turning out weapons with which to help defeat the Germans, Italians, and Japanese.

Again, we have to ask--what better way to cripple America than to deprive it of something that it needed to maintain not only its standard of living, but also its ability to fight a potential military enemy?

And then, thanks to a confluence of events, we elect a man who's grossly unqualified to the office of President who then throws us into two foreign wars while simultaneously launching an attack on the treasury by granting massive tax breaks to the wealthy... resulting in a need to borrow the money to conduct these wars and other business of state from the Communist Chinese... at what ultimate cost, one might ask?

For the past several weeks I've been reading discussions about Assange and Wikileaks, and I've refrained from offering an opinion, or even forming one.  I wanted to hear and assimilate all the arguments for and against before making up my mind.  But I have.  Finally.

People are actually calling for this man's death--for telling us the truth.  Yet we've made a multi-billionaire of a man who created a media empire by lying to us.  We allow him and his "news" organization to lie to our fellow Americans, to feed long tons of pure unadulterated bullshit to those who have been deliberately under-educated, deprived of decent jobs by the very policy of paying companies to send those jobs overseas,  and we don't even have the sense to ask him or his minions "What in the hell do you think you're doing?"

I'm not a conspiracy theorist.  Or, rather, let's say I'm more inclined to see the likelihood of hundreds of small conspiracies than one overarching one.  But here we have a political party that, while extolling the strength of this nation, has systematically helped deprive it of its greatest assets--that being an educated populace, a strong manufacturing base, a vibrant middle class, an agile, technologically advanced military, and a press the people could trust.  And it's hard to argue that these policy decisions, carried forward across decades, haven't significantly enhanced the position of other nations ahead of the United States.

It's unquestionable that the policies supported by not only the Republican Party, but also their alleged grass roots cabal known as the "tea party" are specifically designed to continue to weaken the U.S. and strengthen its global competitors.  At best, these are the result of a group of wealthy individuals seeking nothing more than increased wealth and privilege for themselves.  At worst, it's aiding and abetting the dismantling of American power for the advantage of foreign nationals and foreign governments.

In short.  Treason.

One can argue the ideology behind cutting the budgets to the bone, or depriving Americans of good paying jobs and an education for their children, but the simple fact of the matter is that it harms America's long term interests and deprives us of the ability to compete effectively in the global marketplace of goods and ideas.  Unfunded wars of choice have crippled our military, our economy, and our ability to react to other crisis (such as S. Korea), our citizens have been deliberately deprived of educational opportunities in order to further the financial goals of a relative few, and our manufacturing capabilities have been reduced to near zero.

We have been dismantled as a superpower.  And it's hard to imagine this was done by accident.

I hereby submit that Rupert Murdoch, for one, is a traitor, and a wannabe Bond villain.  He pays millions of dollars to unscrupulous media caricatures to pass misinformation to American citizens in a time of war, depriving them of the ability to make informed choices.  He also pays our elected representatives in a different kind of coin to pursue an agenda that is clearly contrary to the future success of this country.  What coin?  Free and continuous political advertising.  And it's of particular interest that many of his current employees are prospective future Presidential candidates.  Coincidence?  I think not.

Who dares call this treason?  I do.

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