You poisoned my sweet waters, you tore down my green trees; the food you gave my children is the cause of their disease. My world is slowly coming down and the air’s not fit to breathe, and those of us who care enough we have to do something! ’ Interesting how that song lyric was recorded over forty years ago by a rock group called Quicksilver Messenger Service. History does have this strange way of repeating itself, doesn’t it?
Americans surely have this superiority complex. Scholars define it as American Exceptionalism. We really do think that we not only know better than the rest of the world, but that we are better! Well, every empire before us, whether it be the Romans, Dutch or British, all felt the same way. Look where they are now? Look where we are now for that matter. Bogged down with hundreds of thousands of our soldiers and private mercenaries occupying two countries… at a cost of over one hundred billion per year! We have military spending that surpassed any other in our history while our states and cities collapse. Millions of homes are underwater or foreclosed, pulling down the values of the rest of American housing, while the crooks and scoundrels who initiated this mess give themselves bonuses! ‘Your newspapers, they just put you on; they never tell you the whole story… ‘ . We have a mainstream media that would make Pravda proud. Talk about embedded; these so called journalists wouldn’t know the truth if it bit them in the a**!
So, question is: Are we Americans that much more stupid than our counterparts in Egypt and Tunisia? You see, contrary to what is being reported, those uprisings were initiated by regular 9 to 5 citizens like you and me. They were just fed up with the Fat Cats who run things, controlling most of their country’s wealth… duh, just like here?! Yet, what’s it going to take for folks here to get off their duffs and onto the street corners? What I am suggesting is not revolution, rather evolution. When can we evolve as a people away from the consumerism, militarism, celebrity worship and servitude mentality?
When can the 99.75 % of us who are not millionaires stop defending those who are? You know, I hear it wherever and whenever I broach the subject: ‘Oh, the rich deserve what they have. They earned it through hard work and risk ‘. Well, tell that to the cop who takes home forty or fifty grand a year and has to walk through that doorway, not knowing who has what pointed at him in the dark. Tell that to the fireman who rushes into the smoky apartment to save some poor soul. The fireman, like the cop, takes home in one year what the hedge fund manager pulls in one week!! Ever go to a nursing home to visit your relative? See that aide who wipes the **** and washes and cleans the elderly? Well, that aide earns maybe less than half what the cop and fireman make. School teachers, librarians, school psychologists, mental health counselors… folks who nurture or heal young and old minds alike- they are the first to be laid off in this depression called a recession.
Yet, the paradox is that many of us turn a blind eye and deaf ear to what really causes our economic misfortune. That being the ridiculous fact that over half of the federal taxes we all pay goes right into the troughs of the Military Industrial Complex and not back to we the people. Isn’t it time for that figure to be cut drastically as we close the 800+ overseas bases and bring the troops deployed worldwide home? Nixon himself, in a moment of candor to a young college protestor, referred to this American empire and its minions as a beast.
My friends, as this New Year embraces us, whatcha gonna do?
Philip A Farruggio is son and grandson of Brooklyn, NYC longshoremen. He is a free lance columnist (found on TheSleuthJournal.com, Information Clearing house, Doomstead Diner, Op Ed News, Dandelion Salad, Activist Post, Dissident Voice and many other sites worldwide). Philip works as an environmental products sales rep and has been an activist leader since 2000. In 2010 he became a local spokesperson for the 25% Solution Movement to Save Our Cities by cutting military spending 25%. Philip can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org }