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Where I Belittle a Doofus Ithaca English Prof

Over on Facebook, a left-leaning friend posted a link to this screed. Its title (and the publication hosting it) pretty well, as the choirboys say, “gave away the game,” as far as the author’s intention. I gave it a read anyway, then told my guy, “You’re just baiting me with low hanging fruit.” He asked me to elaborate, so here goes….

Here’s the opening sentence (ignore the initial “spell-check replacing proof reading” error):

Every since the November elections, spokespersons for the newly established Tea Party have been talking about their plan to “take back America.” [emphasis mine]

Right off the bat the author is operating from a delusional point of view. Hell, even in the GOP-held House, there are only 52 members of the “Tea Party Caucus” out of 241 Republicans.  There is, in fact, no “established” Tea Party. While there are many groups across the country who have adopted the monicker, they’re a disparate bunch. Most are concerned strictly with the country’s disastrous financial condition, while some also concern themselves with social conditions that they find discordant to their personal beliefs. (Note: I do not count the opportunistic jackasses who hitched a ride in search of making a buck.)

If anything is shared across this spectrum, it is the belief that the United States has veered away from the nation’s founding documents; that the Constitution has been treated like an advisory, not the bedrock principles upon which America’s method of governance was meant to operate.

Anyhoo, the author delivers the stereotypical jerimiad against his perceived opponents, declaring that their true motives are, in summary, to kill the poor and feed them to the oligarchal beast known as, depending on the day of the week, “big business” or “the rich and powerful.”

Before I go further, Let’s Meet the Author!

Fred A. Wilcox is an associate professor in the writing department at Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York…. He has spent his entire adult life writing and teaching about war and nonviolence. He continues to teach, write, and speak about the necessity to build schools rather than bombs, to spend billions on health care rather than atomic submarines, and to create peace, rather than violence and war, in the world. His research has led him to conclude that our planet, Mother Earth, is a toxic Titanic.

Meh; seems the typical ivory-towered twit, doesn’t he? According to his CV, our man Wilcox has never spent much time–if any, actually–outside the walls of academe, nor has he published anything of note since the beginning of the last decade. A scan of opinions posted by his students doesn’t impress, though he does seem to have “Viet Nam War on the Brain” malady, which is odd, considering he never served….

Okay, back to the matter dismantling at hand. According to Wilcox, these are some of the Tea Party’s criminal intentions:

Cut funding for the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and Planned Parenthood; reduce funding for people who need home heating assistance; cut people off from Medicaid; fire public school teachers and close public schools; lay off firemen and police officers; defund and, if possible, eliminate altogether the Environmental Protection Agency; rescind legislation designed to protect endangered species; cut out funding for pre school programs like Head Start; abolish public workers’ rights to collective bargaining; increase class sizes in public schools; and imprison or deport immigrants who have broken the law.

Well now! That’s an impressively malevolent agenda, don’t you think? Let’s look at a few of these, shall we?

Cut funding for PBS: Like its sibling broadcast outlet, NPR, PBS is a relic of a bygone era, when the public’s options were few (hence its designation as “the Fourth Network”). What none of its supporters ever mention–more likely, are completely unaware–is that PBS was not borne of Leviathan’s brow, but was begun as a privately-funded entity known as NET. When its original benefactor began to blanch at the money hole they had spawned (and, it should be noted, affiliate stations were already complaining of bias in PBS’s programming way back then), the Corporation for Public Broadcasting was created by LBJ to keep the floundering networks afloat.

The go-to cry for PBS defenders is “They wanna cancel Big Bird!” Actually, no, no one wants to cancel Big Bird; the sucker is a cash cow, man! What people want to do is remove CPB and its long-in-the-tooth children from the fisc. In the current media environment, there no longer exists the original justifications that created these outlets. If you need funding, go talk to the Jim Henson Company, Bill Moyers and Garrison Keillor; those guys built (privately held) media empires while living on the public dime.

Cut funding for Planned Parenthood: Another lottery winner of the feel-good era that long existed without Federal funding until Dick Nixon–who besides being evil, was a monstrous schmuck–went legislatively nuts (like with another piece of the indictment list, the creation of the EPA).

Cut out funding for pre school programs like Head Start: Another LBJ-era creation, Head Start, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, ain’t all that much when it comes to getting results:

“The study showed that at the end of one program year, access to Head Start positively influenced children’s school readiness,” HHS reported in a press release. “When measured again at the end of kindergarten and first grade, however, the Head Start children and the control group children were at the same level on many of the measures studied.”

(more on the study here)

Abolish public workers’ rights to collective bargaining: No such “right” exists, you idiot. Some governments granted public workers the ability to bargain collectively; others, like the Federal government, did not. Indeed, such stalwarts as FDR and AFL-CIO’s George Meany are recorded as thinking the idea to be stupendously asinine.

Imprison or deport immigrants who have broken the law: I don’t know how things roll up in Ithaca, but breaking the law kinda leads to bad results. And you forgot something, Freddie… I’d have been happy if you could have at least used the obfuscational term “undocumented” to avoid saying Illegal.

Okay, I don’t think I’ll continue with this; it’s too damn easy, and entering all this shit from my Crackberry’s keyboard is an incredibly bitchy thing to deal with.

Anyhow, Wilcox, is that dreck an example of the best you got? With all your credentials, a fella like me–who on a good day is borderline insane–can turn your thesis into Swiss cheese with such fucking ease?

I’d be embarrassed to be seen in the faculty lounge, you clown.

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