I have come a long way from where I once was, I have both progressed and
digressed as person and as an American. I once thought that this was
all about me, but I now know better. I look back on that strange person
estranged from who I am now and I wonder, who that person was then, I
wonder, who I have become and now question whether the two can ever
become reconciled again.
I no longer travel in the warm orbits of the sun; instead I have become a
dark solitary asteroid traveling through the empty voids of space. I
have nothing and have been referred to as a transient. Imagine such a
definition applied towards your own life. The sum total of your
existence condensed to a single adjective, all your glories and all of
your failures reduced to a single word definition of your life.
As a boy I had a paper route, I worked in high school for spending money
and I worked after high school. I worked long hours, doing dirty jobs
until slowly, I began to rise. I had been fully indoctrinated in the
Horatio Alger image of America, where any boy can be president, but that
was that other life of mine. I know now, that it was all a myth, all
make believe to keep the young hopeful and hard at work and to keep them
from rising up an killing their jailers.
I got married because all of my friends were getting married and I
thought, I was supposed to, just more subliminal societal pressure. I
bought a house from the Veterans Administration, windows were broken and
the hardwood floors were ruined from the broken pipes. I attacked the
project eagerly; I fixed the holes in the walls and the floors. I worked
nights and weekends slowly changing it from the worst house on the
street to the nicest. I cut down trees and hauled dirt to make the yard a
show place. That was before, back when I still had a future, I built a
sand box and swing set for my kids, I paid my taxes and I didn't
I know better now, I've heard the punch line of the joke; it was my
reflection in the mirror. I was paying a mortgage and improving a house
that was mine but temporarily. I spent my wages at Home Depot and Lowe's
and I helped their bottom line and yet there was no one to watch my
bottom line. In 1995, I relocated to Atlanta Georgia. I took my little
equity pile and bought another house.
I wasn't flipping these houses; my goal was to create a decent home that
I otherwise could not afford. In 2001, I divorced. I began to pay child
support which I paid religiously until July of 2007.
In 2003, I remarried and in 2005, I started my own business. My previous
employer threatened me with lawsuits despite his declining my
suggestions before beginning my business. The irony here is that he has
fared no better than I have and has fallen from a higher perch. An
Internet business" just crazy talk, I suspect. No sooner had I opened my
business than I began to receive invoices from bogus companies claiming
debts for services. I quickly learned the woods were filled with wolves
seeking the unsuspecting but then the business took off.
I was paying the county and the state, I was paying my vendors and I was
making a profit. As I sat waiting in my car for the red light, I looked
at my bank deposit slip and read my balance of over $10,000. My bills
were paid, I was living the good life and I look back on that guy in the
car at the red light and I don't know him. He is a complete stranger to
Then in 2007, things began to falter, as business began to fail, I began
looking for work. I went to work for an ambulance company which was
also trying to keep their own heads above water. This small ambulance
company with four used and aged ambulances was owed over a quarter of a
million dollars by the Federal Government. Daily, I would hear them as
they would beg for payment from various departments and from Congressman
and Senator's offices, all to no avail.
I was laid off as the owners were two months behind in their own rent. I
went to work for a company selling coupon books as a fund raiser. Each
paycheck I received, drawn on a different bank from a different state. I
began freelance writing; I had an interview with a company that cleaned
air conditioning ducts. Money was short, the $ 10,000 was long gone,
but the interview went well. I was called back for a second interview
and then a third. But unbeknownst to my prospective employers it was
hard to raise the gas money for these interviews. I had one final
interview on Monday and I was so certain I was going to be hired; I
brought my lunch and left it in my truck.
As I pulled into the parking lot something was wrong, the company trucks
were there but there weren't any cars. I parked and went to the door
and found a bright orange sticker affixed to the door. "Sealed- by the
Georgia Department of Revenue," so ended that job. It began to be a
struggle to keep the utilities on and needless to say, my marriage
While driving across town to collect my last check from the ambulance
company I was rear ended by a person talking on a cell phone. The car
was totaled and I was injured but to the insurance company despite their
client being ticketed for the accident, claimed the fault remained in
doubt. This was the beginning of my true education; I saw a corporation
use law and government as a tool to dodge their contracted
responsibilities. Their stated goal was to wait, delay and starve me
out. Most people need their car replaced and despite a state law saying
they owed me a rental car their answer was, sue us!
In July of 2007, I could no longer pay my child support. I had two years
left to pay, a total of around $7,000. About this same time my wife
suggested that I leave the home and I became homeless. That was over
three years ago and now the state of Georgia claims my debt to be over
$35,000 dollars. To get my license back they require $500 dollars down
and a promise of $200 per month from a man who earns less than $100 per
month. How can a homeless man argue with a state, when it takes weeks
just to send me a form letter? $700 might as well be $7,000 or even
seven million dollars. Without this driver's license, I have no legal
ID. Technically, under the Patriot Act, I commit a crime just walking
down the street but more to the point, I can't get a job. I can never
pay the state as the total still grows. I can't vote and I am dispatched
from this society.
That is all well and good, because on an intellectual level and an
emotional level, I am also dispatched from this society. A society which
would allow banks and financial institutions to pillage and dispossess
tens of millions of Americans with assistance programs left under the
exclusive control of the criminals themselves.
A politicized court system, a propagandized public who are told that my
plight and your plight, is all our own fault. Citizens United? Need I
I have watched as state governments have assaulted its own work force
and demonized them in public. Over a hundred thousand school teachers
have lost their jobs, just like I did. The follow behind me and wonder
like I did, what did I do wrong?
The Congress of the United States has declared war on the United States
Post Office, an institution established by Benjamin Franklin for Christ
We face a Presidential election between Barack Obama and Willard (Mitt)
Romney. These are our choices, as this charade is peddled to the
propagandized as a democracy. The candidate from Goldman Sachs versus
the Candidate from Bain Capital. Ten million homes foreclosed, falling
wages and the debate is centered on tax cuts? If you are still waiting
for the Republicans and Democrats to save you, you are waiting for a bus
that is not coming.
Yet the highest crime waits in the wings, under an agreement by both
political parties. If the two parties cannot reach an agreement on
budget cuts there will be automatic budget cuts on January 2nd. The cuts
are a dagger pointed at the heart of the poor, the unemployed and the
struggling. These cuts will not affect exclusive private schools but
will decimate public education. These things they say must be done to
cut the budget deficit. The same deficit caused by tax cuts, wars and
free trade agreements.
I know now of American freedom, as I can no longer board an airplane or
Amtrak train. Yet through my three years of study in this American
University of the streets, I have met you. You, who are me, you whose
stories vary only slightly from my own. You who have lost your jobs, you
who have lost your homes, your cars and in some cases even your
families. You graduated from college with a degree in International
studies but in the Nation's capital you work at the Hard Rock Cafe' and
pay out two weeks of your earnings every month for your education debt.
You've worked as a certified credentialed auto mechanic for six years
and can barely afford your own rent.
The truth is" that the truth is. It is neither vague nor cloudy, you are
no freer today in America than a peasant from the Middle Ages, you have
no health care or retirement. Politicians eye greedily your Social
Security. You live in a Police State and without your papers you have no
right to exist.
"We need a Nuremberg to put on trial the economic order that they have
imposed on us, that every three years kills more men, women and children
by hunger and preventable or curable diseases than the death toll in
six years of the Second World War". -- Fidel Castro