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While Rome Burns

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Philip Farruggio
Message Philip Farruggio
Op- Ed Commentary

February, 2007

While Rome Burns.....

It sure is interesting. Of the slew of candidates and wannabee candidates running for the grand prize of President, how many really ' talk the talk', let alone ' walk the walk' ? How many of them have to worry about making another mortgage or rent payment, or health insurance premium? Do they really care that property and water taxes, along with other local fees, are going sky high? Now here is the clinker: how many of them have kids or grand kids trudging along an ominous desert road, awaiting some sniper or booby trap? One Senator out of 100, a Congressperson here or there. The rest? Rome is burning.......

Been on the same street corner for 28 months now, every Tuesday at rush hour. For each new person who has joined our 'campaign for truth and justice', thousands, literally thousands, refuse to stop. Yet, the polls tell us that an overwhelming majority of Americans are fed up with this so called war, and want a change of direction. So, why not the surge of citizen protest on the street corners of America? Is it because few Americans can connect the dots? Few can understand that $ 400 billion down the toilet could have subsidized the extending of Medicare for all. $ 400 billion wasted on a phony war could have went to the states, keeping local fees and property taxes lower. $ 400 billion could have built schools and hospitals, created millions of jobs a hell of a lot better than at Wal-Mart. Some of that money could have seen increases in Pell grants and other help for working stiffs who struggle to pay for their kids college education. $ 400 billion..... well, " Ya coulda looked out for me Charlie ," to quote Brando from On the Waterfront.

We are speeding up, my friends, quickly approaching a critical mass. This will be a time when those folks driving by our street corner demonstration can no longer afford to remain apathetic. Oh, sure, those in denial, meaning those who actually believe in what Bush, Cheney and the neo cons are doing, they will be the last ones to get it. No, I am referring to the majority of Americans, those who are not so callous or foolish. They understand, to some extent, that things are not good. They can sense, inherently, that our economy is ready to implode. Rome is burning......

Alas, the grand conundrum. Do we all wait for that knight ( or Princess ) on the white horse to come riding down and right the wrongs etc.? Or do we demand that those now in power are made to answer for what they have done? The first step in putting out the fire takes teamwork and passion. The second step, in rebuilding what the fire has damaged, takes initiative and creativity. Are you ready for that challenge, or will you do a Nero on me?

PA Farruggio

Port Orange, Florida

( philip a farruggio is a free lance columnist, small businessman and community activist. he is the son and grandson of brooklyn , n.y. longshoremen. he has over 60 columns, since 2000, posted and printed as Op-Eds in various newspapers and online sites. his current work can be veiwed on www.opednews.com . he can be reached at paf1222@bellsouth.net )
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Philip A Farruggio is an activist leader, free lance columnist and small businessman. He is blue collar from birth, as both his dad and grandad were Brooklyn , NYC longshoremen. Philip has a BA from Brooklyn College ( class of ' 74 ) in Speech (more...)

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