In My Orbit…

8 03 2011

Digital Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So despite an interim agreement that will carry us through March, the country could still face a Government shutdown if Congress and the White House cannot come to a budget compromise.

I am no economist, but I fail to see why it is so difficult. For starters, pulling funding from National Public Radio (NPR) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) would save us billions. These are both progressive darlings, and I have always wondered why they needed the funding to begin with. They could earn more from their supporters in Manhattan and Beverly Hills than anything the government gives them. I say let’s give them that chance. If I made lots of money, I’d support the causes I believe in and ensure they are kept alive. So why can’t they siphon money from those who believe in what they do? One of the reasons I stopped watching public broadcasting was their incessant pledge drives–where does all that money go?

NPR head Vivian Shiller was on Capitol Hill Monday, defending her firing of Juan Williams and why NPR should continue to receive government funding. A quote from her testimony:

“‘We take [federal defunding] very, very seriously,’ she said. ‘It would have a profound impact we believe on our ability – of public broadcasting’s ability – to deliver news and information.'”

I have listened to NPR from time to time, but don’t consider myself a fan. It has some interesting bits, but most of it is pretend high-brow intellectualism with a fully political agenda. Don’t get me wrong: I’m fine with political agendas, just don’t pretend or claim that you are above it. NPR is fully a pretender.

So isn’t it convenient that fresh off Ms. Shiller’s turn before the Congressional committee, James O’Keefe rolls out another sting video, this time involving former NPR executive Ron Schiller (different spelling and no relation to the current head) and Betsy Liley, NPR’s director of institutional giving.

The video pretty much shows that NPR does indeed have an agenda, and despises the unwashed masses of conservatives who do not side with it. While much of the rightosphere saw the smoking gun in the fact that Schiller all but admitted that they don’t need the government funding, and his calling the Tea Party racist (that’s original), what I found most egregious was his waxing eloquent about the lack of education, and a campaign of “anti-intellectualism” that supposedly infests the nation. One quote from the video has him saying that what he is:

“most disappointed by in this country, which is that the educated, so-called elite in this country is too small a percentage of the population, so that you have this very large un-educated part of the population that carries these ideas.”

I have two degrees: a Bachelors and a Masters, both from prestigious institutions. People who never ask me about my politics assume by virtue of those degrees, my conversational prowess, and that I am a black woman who wears dreadlocks that I must be a part of this “educated, so-called elite”.  So like Schiller in the video, they feel at liberty to say the most ugly, demeaning, and dare I say, anti-Semitic things about those who do not hold their views. I have had comments said to me that would make even my weighty dreds stand on end!

In my pursuit of education, I have managed to avoid the delusion that people who do not pursue higher education are stupid and uneducated. I also don’t assume that just because certain people choose to live in other parts of the country and listen to Fox News or Rush Limbaugh, that they are automatically racist and xenophobic.

But what I most strongly reject is the belief that intelligence and education will solve all the worlds ills, and it has always befuddled me why a good majority of the professors and students I encountered in my own journey see these as a cure-all.

It definitely solves some, otherwise I would not have bothered to get two degrees. But if education and intellect were truly the solution, do you think I would be unemployed for over two years and scraping to earn a living? My degrees and intellect should solve that problem for me, shouldn’t it? People should want someone as erudite and accomplished as myself on their payroll, don’t you think? And not just me, but the many members of the Tuesdays with Transitioners group that I lead, who are equally- if not more- intelligent and accomplished, yet are having difficulty landing full-time work.

And how about what’s going on with the Middle East? Our highly educated and very intellectual President is dithering and ineffective by many liberal and conservative accounts, issuing half-hearted warnings with not a clue on how to resolve the issue.  Shouldn’t his degrees from Columbia, Harvard Law, and that Nobel Peace Prize be a guarantee that he knows exactly what to do and how best to bring about a resolve to the situations in Egypt, Libya and Palestine?

And finally, if Mr. Schiller is so damn smart, then how did he get caught on camera with his pants down?

Video below for those who are interested.

 

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