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Neglected Citizen--Oversight Responsibilities Haunt, Hurt 21st Century DevelopmentsOp-Ed by Henry Clay Ruark for Salem-News.com
Op Ed: Part Two of new series Waves from Seaside. Citizen-Choice MUST Shape Issues, Situations, Problems To Build Cooperative Understandings and Coordinate ANY Effective Defenses.
(SEASIDE, Ore.) - Over the past forty or fifty years --while we Americans enjoyed our leisure, with "good reasons" to relax-- certain unremitting and extremely well-funded "private interests" have been very busily at full-volume work to snatch away whatever they can of our Constitutional freedoms, and ready the nation for more-of-everything, as they now plan to plunder even and ever more-voraciously.
For most of that time "they" have worked via capture and distortion --complete or partial--of one or the other of our two essential political parties --themselves NOT an original component put into place by our Founding Fathers, but a necessary instrument developed via obvious necessity in our early years.
We've had real reason to overlook the inevitable, unavoidable, unremitting and deeply demanding citizen-action responsibilities in our vaunted American democracy, while simultaneously being seduced into very selective --and unduly comfortable !!--stages of inertia and "don't care", depending on our particular personal lifestyles made possible by those famous freedoms first envisaged and then --after much more struggle and even bloodshed than most of us today even know-- become the wonder of the world ever since, in the only real, live, strong and succeeding democracy.
Yet now the swift, inevitable destroying current has been allowed to happen. Our nation --as with all other preceding regimes of revolutionary world-consequence-- has been allowed to fall into the pit of the same self-destructive situations.
The consequences strke us all, and all of us are to blame for permitting that to happen to ANY of us, given the system and the Great Beginnings we inherited from the Founding Fathers.
Pundits insist that if all are to blame, each one escapes personal responsibility; but that merely manipulates the notorious nefarious situation into which we have plunged ourselves while strongly inhibiting and hampering ANY and ALL possible remedies.
We Americans are famed for our "exceptionalism", one characterized by precisely our own self-driven recovery from notoriously precarious, threatening circumstances.
We are about to-do-it-again...and this informed analysis states the stattus quo from which we will now proceed to full recovery and return to world leadership.
Anyone cognizant of local, state and national politics can trace out for themselves the whole series of stealthy steps-and-actions involved in this class/warfare onset-and-attack, originating in the rapid reaction to a dozen or so very wealthy families driven at first by what they saw as defense vs FDR's New Deal, then developing ("depreciating" ?!) into the fully-recorded, constantly-ongoing attacks and conspiracies and consternations ever since.
You can choose for yourselves those YOU think have had the most negative and enduring-damage/consequences; the potent-potential list is long and constantly growing; The only consistently shared component is the causative origination:
Personal inertia, mostly driven by mis-and dis-information, largely the perverting, pelf-driven destructive tool of those "private interests", carefully concentrated and consolidated through dollar-power perversions into both political parties and our once-defensible Congress.
As so often happens with a world-full of discerning citizens scattered in other nations around the world, some-of-the-same --and in some places much-more/and-deeper-- similar situations and desperate, detailed attack-and-consequence has and is now following their beginning development as nations seeking the same freedoms and the accompanying opportunities for their fellows and their progeny.
(It should be easily understood, since it has become so obvious, that many of the same "private interests" are seeking to exploit and harvest in those nations precisely as they do in our own country.)
The working conditions thus created are, inevitably and especially in those the farthest-down on the labor-pay list due to their long painful retardation-- building crises and conflict with the more historically-fortunate few, such as in the Western world, and most especially in the United States of America.
For those who worked through Part One, it should be by now completely clear and perhaps even unavoidably understood that the human action/process of CHOICE plays an overwhelmingly essential role in what these world-spread citizens allow to happen in their nations ---precisely as we have in our own in the past fifty years.
Most-recent information-theory research resonates with the massive amounts and overwhelming impact-flow of bits-and-pixels, inexorably following Moore's Law disclosing the overwhelming advance of electronic developments and astonishing plunge in cost-price for components: A factor of 100 every decade, amounting already to an accumulated factor of ONE BILLION, in the 45 years since Moore discovered his extremely accurate "Law".
Each personal-CHOICE --of underrstanding and action OR inertia-and- "leisure"-- is, for us here, a package of bits-and-pixels in that same equation, justified by still further research ion information formation-and-impacts.
THAT accounts for the huge amounts of information --mostly held in amazingly/sized data-bases--now readily available to drive more effective, more efficient and much more rapid-- communications that ever before possible in history, yet poorly or never used for political and action-planning purposes.
BUT NOW we see the shape of solid consequence, when it is so used, in "the streets of Cairo" and across the Mid East "Revolutions", as well as in the already-noted amazing advances in every form, mode and level of manufacture, trade and business, and other modern-society activity.
Surfacing everywhere, that information-flow impact has even broken like the wave of modern life it really is right over the Governor, the public-sector workers, and the state's other shareholders, its citizens.
Thus we face the same stunning array of corporate complicities and conniving, closely-connected political perpetrators, as in previous historical periods; but now they are driven by the sweeping forces of globalization unavoidably underway -- as those recent events in the streets of Cairo and elsewhere throughout the Mid East have surely shown.
What most persons --especially those who have succumbed to demonstrated American propensities for "inertia" as an essential component of lifestyle-- do not YET realize is that the wave of revolutionary fervor sweeping the Mid East is also breaking-surface and boiling-away right here in our nation --and with good reason, considering the statistics on stagnated wages and other significant advances for our staggering Middle Class, created in those "good years" following the New Deal --until the now-evident decreasing national dividend from those days is recognized for the reality it reflects.
There's a fundamental attitude-change/flow sweeping across the world, an intriguing pattern of old-and-new; it starts with the fundamentally erroneous but insistent Reagan-era "Government IS the PROBLEM --NOT the solutiion !" and the continuing hectic pursuit of "smaller goverrnment" --an impossibility given the already-apparent direction, tone, and emphases of 21st Century events already experienced.
The Reagan record --now in process of inevitable and very bitter reevaluation by both the public and specialists in history, economics, sociology and other fields-- set forth such a mixed message of misplaced emphases and misdirected ("misbegotten" ?) actions that it was only the great political and communications skills of R.R. that kept him hidden under the cloud of misimpression, mis-and-dis-information under which he can now clearly be seen to have operated. That much of that cloud of misinformation remains is indicated clearly by a Gallup poll placing Reagan in the lead among all our Presidents; polls being what they are, persons well acqainted with the demanded difficult processes will seek the truth elsewhere.
It's in the era itself and Reagan's own recorded actions, complete with their unavoidable consequences, that we can still find the truth: as in his massive military buildup, overwhelming addition to national deficit --from the 1980s $762 billion to $2 TRILLION in 1988 !-- the "Thursday Surprise"-plot vs Carter, and the notorious Iran-Contra episode, now seen as perhaps the trigger for transcendent/event and today's irrevocable changes in the Mid East.
President Reagan, suffering at the last from Altheimer's Disease, left behind the largest contribution to the national deficit of any President to that time, equalling, in fact, their totalled similar burdens-to-bear for generations to come;, including the now-retiring Boomers; and the highly pertinent damage-done by "deregulation: an open invitation to corporate and Wall Street predators"-- or "privatization", transferring control of essential operational public agencies to corporate debt-addition and assorted plunder-programs; and the impacts of heavy reliance on "supply-side economics" reflecting the Laffer Curve --which, given the historic record, has become known as a very ironic title among leading economists.
Perhaps the most pernicious action of his era was the early-and-vicious smash-attack on the air controller's union, setting into operation what has remained a union-destroying movement ever since despite historic achievement and refinement of American working and living standards and styles from New Deal days onward for decades. --including the roots of healthcare, provided then by employers as an attractive (and,then, a lower/cost benefit !) in basic industry-labor situations.
No matter what one winnows away from from fact-and-fancy, myth and many reports from this most significant period in American history, one cannot, in all good faith and common sense, now NOT seek-out-and-and believe the chimerical characterizations of this most disturbing --some will contend "most destructive"-- period in American history which those same "private interests" insist belong rightfully in the Reagan record.
Inevitably and consequentially, too, that experience has shaped and solidified --as well as traumatizing !-- the nation and its problems, promises and potential with which we must deal NOW.
"Political organizers must start from where the world is, not from where they would like it to be," stated famous radical organizer Saul Alinsky --quoted more that a dozen times in David Sirota's also now-famous 2008 book "The Uprising: An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring Wall Street and Washington" --recognized now in 2011 as among the most prescient publications of the half-century since these events began. (Book's ISBN for the serious reader: 978-0-307-39563-4.)
SO we must start from what now appears to be the truth, as we've learned to appraise, analyze and evaluate ---and then report, truthfully-- ever since.
Watch for Part Three of this Waves From Seaside series and participate yourself by thoughtful Comment. All CHOICE is a reaction to options, including informed opinions, and for that dialog must include, honor and appraise dissent.
Perhaps the most potent of Alinski principles is this one:
"A belief that if people have the power to act in the long run, they will, most of the time, reach the right decision."
What could be more truly democratic than that ?
For space reasons we've NOT included more than 150 references, book citations, quotes and excerpts from key magazine and newspaper clips, the basic sources for the factual information on which this Op Ed is founded.
For anyone seeking documentation for a single statement or fact, we will respond as we can, as rapidly as we can; for our complete list of documentations, we must charge a fee of $25 to cover working time to compile for email delivery from assorted (and wild !) writer's notes. --HCR
At 21, Henry Clay Ruark was Aroostook Editor for the Bangor, Maine DAILY NEWS, covering the upper 1/4 of the state. In the ‘40s, he was Staff Correspondent, then New England Wires Editor at United Press-Boston; later Editor for the Burlington, Vermont 3-daily group owned by Wm. Loeb, later notorious at Manchester, New Hampshire UNION LEADER for attacks on Democratic Presidential candidates.
Hank returned to Oregon to complete M. Ed. degree at OSU, went on to Indiana University for Ed.D. (abd) and special other course-work; was selected as first Information Director for NAVA in Washington, D.C.; helped write sections of NDEA, first Act to supply math, science, foreign language consultants to state depts. of education; joined Oregon Dept. of Education, where he served as NDEA administrator/Learning Media Consultant for ten years.
He joined Dr. Amo DeBernardis at PCC, helping establish, extend programs, facilities, Oregon/national public relations; moved to Chicago as Editor/Publisher of oldest educational-AV journal, reformed as AV GUIDE Magazine; then established and operated Learning Media Associates as general communications consultant group. Due to wife’s illness, he returned to Oregon in 1981, semi-retired, and has continued writing intermittently ever since, joining S-N in 2004. His Op Eds now total over 560 written since then.
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