My late great friend Bill K. was a man rich in life experience. Bill had been a Chicago cop during the ‘turbulent’ 60s going against the grain by refusing to hassle Black faces and anyone who demonstrated at the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention. He was what the police have been charted to be: ‘To serve and protect’ … and not just property owners and businessmen. Bill and I met well after he retired and became of all things, a great sports writer, focusing on horse racing. Bill could mingle with the Fat Cat owners and trainers, but still would rather dialogue with the two dollar bettor. He had a wonderful handle on things in a Runyonesque manner, meaning that he saw through the hype and spin of this empire. On the subject of heroes Bill relayed this anecdote to me. “One day, when I was taking my son to high school, we passed by a bus stop as this workman was about to get on a bus. I told my son ‘You see that guy there, with the workman’s jacket and hard hat on, carrying that lunchbox? Well, that guy has to punch in the hours to afford to take care of his family, and he’s out there early in the morning each day. That guy is what we would call a hero!'”
Sadly, in this Military Industrial Empire that we live under, there are much too many people that the suckers, saps and lollipops celebrate as heroes. Though we have not been officially at war since 1941, the ‘US War Machine’ has created what the late great Gore Vidal labeled ‘Perpetual War’. Under the banner of phony, illegal and immoral wars on Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq, the media and right wing political whores have celebrated our young military men and women, shipped thousands of miles away to attack, destroy and occupy three sovereign nations, as heroes and brave warriors.
Sadly, most of the ‘walking sucking candy ‘fellow citizens of mine have bought into this crap! Men like Bush Jr., Dick Cheney, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and let’s not forget Donald Trump all supported the Vietnam debacle but refused to sign up to go over there and ‘Fight the Commies’. How many of today’s 40 something politicians who supported our two phony wars on Iraq refused to sign up and go over to ‘Bring Democracy to Iraq’? NO wonder that millions of people throughout the world have disgust for my country.
The real crime is when the general public, much too numerous, celebrate politicians from both of the Two Party con job. Anyone who works for a living, or wants to work for a living, should check out how many of these so called heroes are millionaires, or even mega millionaires, mostly from families of privilege.
Case in point: During the disgraceful debacle of the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, the public was ‘sold’ on two Republican Senators who seemed to ‘have a conscience’. Jeff Flake made such an impassioned plea for more time for an FBI investigation… and then went ahead and voted, in reality, AGAINST the word of Ms. Christine Blasey Ford (Flake comes from a super rich family that actually had a town, Snowflake Arizona, named after them). Then we have Senator Susan Collins of Maine (from a lumber family dynasty in Maine), who always loves to give the impression of moderation etc. She too voted AGAINST the word of Ms. Ford, after making all the country think how ‘moderate and fair’ she, Senator Collins, was. The real disgrace is when most of the Republicans on that committee kept saying that Ms. Ford was credible, and then voted in essence to confirm Kavanaugh, who said that what Ms. Ford claimed was ‘not true’. Well, did any of them, or those in the right wing media, actually look up the definition of the word credible? It means: Able to be believed… convincing. Thus, if the woman was to be believed and convincing, then….
Finally, many of those like me who love sports continually make heroes of sports figures who are mega millionaires. They wear their jerseys and boast of their greatness.. yet never asking why these sports icons don’t do more with their dough to help those in need. Please don’t give me the crap about these heroes giving a fraction of their wealth to good causes. When you earn twenty or fifty million dollars a year and keep 75% of it after taxes….the unemployed guy who forks over a dollar to a homeless beggar is giving more of what he has. Who then are the real heroes amongst us, and who are the villains? Food for thought.
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Philip A Farruggio is a son and grandson of Brooklyn, NYC longshoremen. He has been a free lance columnist since 2001, with over 400 of his work posted on sites like Global Research, Greanville Post, Off Guardian, Consortium News, Information Clearing House, Nation of Change, World News Trust, Op Ed News, Dissident Voice, Activist Post, Sleuth Journal, Truthout and many others. His blog can be read in full on World News Trust, whereupon he writes a great deal on the need to cut military spending drastically and send the savings back to save our cities. Philip has a internet interview show, ‘It’s the Empire… Stupid’ with producer Chuck Gregory, and can be reached at [email protected].