Op Ed Commentary One Time Rights
The Big Sleep
It's funny. I seem to write for but myself and a few compatriots. Why? Well, the mainstream press usually chooses to censor anything that persuades the public to reject the two party system. The left leaning press and blogs hate it when you denounce the Democratic party as a DittoCrat one. Well, you get the drift.
America is, my friends, well into the Big Sleep. You stand on the street corners of your town, and they float by you, as if dreaming. Many will honk and wave, but that is the extent of their dissent. The others, well, suffice to say, apparently things need to get even worse than now before they will ' grab a sign ' and join us. As my neighbor Bill told me the other day: " I am 57 years old, and this is the worst I have ever seen my country. Perhaps he meant:
) The occupation of Iraq is now approaching Year 5. We know about the almost 4000 young Americans that came home ( very very discreetly ) in coffins. We hear estimates, according to what sources you trust, about anywhere from 200,000 to one million Iraqi civilians dead. How did many of them die? In two new books, Nathaniel Fick's One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer, and Evan Wright's Generation Kill, we learn great details of what transpired on the ground during the Iraq invasion. Unlike the embedded accounts most Americans ate up like breakfast pabulum, these two books focus on the experiences of the grunts; the guys who pulled the triggers, and took the IEDs. Generation Kill: "After the relentless bombardment and artillery fire on towns outside of Baghdad, unarmed Iraqis continued to get shot at roadblocks." On the morning of April 6, 2003, Nathaniel Fick's platoon reached the outskirts of Baghdad, confronting what Wright called a " horrors cape of human corpses and of dead cows- bloated to twice their normal size, lying in ditches. Sergeant Espera's vehicle swerves to avoid running over a human head lying in the road. When his vehicle turns, he looks to see a dog eating a corpse. ' Can it get any sicker than this? ', Espera asks. ' Do you realize the sh*t we've done here, the people we've killed? Back home in the civilian world, if we did this we would go to prison!' " What seems evident each day is who really should go to prison...... duh, like the entire inner circle of this lying and disgraceful administration?
) Close to $ 600 billion of your tax dollars has gone into the black hole created by the Bush/Cheney cabal for so called war spending- actually phony war spending. You see, a preemptive attack and a subsequent occupation is not a war. All that money taken from domestic needs translates into NO federal block grant money to the states. Thus , the states cannot send funds to help local governments etc. etc. So what happens then? Programs need to be cut, local taxes raised, job layoffs....... get it now? Here in Florida, the state could not help homeowners and businesses with some sort of subsidy insurance relief last year. The previous hits we took by those hurricanes translated into outrageous insurance increases.
) The public sleepwalks ( or drives ) from gas pump to gas pump, oblivious to the facts. They are driving cars that should have been getting 40 to 50 miles per gallon , not the 15 and 20 that most get. Why? Well, because the ' Two Party- One Party System ' took millions of dollars in campaign donations from Big Oil and Detroit back in the 60s and 70s ( and still does). Thus, the Congress refused to raise the CAFE standards ( Clean Air Fuel Efficiency ) to the 40 , 50 and 60 mpg that were needed. Guess what? As recently as months ago, the Congress still refused to mandate such standards. Check out the energy bill that was passed. It's a joke!
) Years ago, CEOs of the Fortune 100 companies were earning, on average, 40 times what their low est full time employee earned. Currently, it has exceeded 400 times! Big Oil has earned record profits since we invaded Iraq. Many Americans need to work two jobs , husband and wife, just to pay the bills. Which leads us to.......
) The Health Care disgrace. Forget the 40 plus million of us who have no health coverage. What about the majority of Americans who are not on Medicare or Medicaid? Most Americans have terrible coverage, and have had it for over 20 years now. Yet, when Michael Moore creates a fine and enlightening satirical look at health care ( Sicko ), he is criticized by most of the mainstream media and ignored by 90% of the candidates running for president. Why? As the adage goes: " Follow the money!" Who gives what money to whom in Congress? Between the insurance companies, Big Pharma and the others who benefit from excluding Medicare coverage for all, the money flows into the pockets of both parties. Another old adage: " You get what you pay for." Which brings us to ...........
) Private Money out of Politics. Period! If we had full public funding of all election campaigns, local, statewide and federal, we would not have these current choices of muck to vote for. Maine actually pulled it off with their Clean Election Laws in 1996. The first time they went into effect, in 2000, 27% of those elected were candidates who voluntarily refused to raise and spend private money. Think about that for a second, and realize why the two parties are so adamantly opposed to public funding of elections .They know that, as in Maine, the public can and will get tired and disgusted with cookie cutter candidates who avoid dealing with key issues. Look at the current joke of Campaign 2008. Factor out Ron Paul on the Republican side and Dennis Kucinich on the Democratic, and you have little discussion on key issues. Instead, we receive rhetoric about values that do not address the aforementioned concerns of this piece.
So, we have a holiday season for some ( not I ) with terrible financial strain for many Americans. Layoffs, foreclosures, dead soldiers, dead civilians, cuts in services, higher gasoline prices........... and still many of you out there remain asleep and apathetic. And if I hear one more time that it is ' hopeless ', well , as Mayor Rocky Anderson of Salt Lake City stated in his stirring speech recently: " Silence Is Complicity ." Wake up America!!
December 8, 2007
( philip a farruggio is a small businessman, activist leader and free lance columnist. since the 2000 elections he has had over 75 columns posted on various sites and in some mainstream papers. google his name for some of his work. in addition to noting problems, the writer does have viable solutions in mind to deal with key issues, and welcomes communication. philip can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org )