Prolonging the Agony… And Then Honoring It? by Philip A. Farruggio

by Philip A. Farruggio
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
April 16, 2011

Orwell himself could not have written a more satirical piece. John Stewart could not have thought up a more outrageous situation for us to digest and regurgitate. Here we have the latest human interest piece coming from the Obama White House. Page 4A of April 13th USA Today has a neat little story complete with a photo entitled ‘Michelle Obama, Jill Biden are Joining Forces ‘. The subtitle announces that the ‘project aims to lend support to military families ‘. Michelle is standing at the podium while her husband and the Bidens along with assorted military personnel look on. She tells how ‘left behind when their loved ones go to war ( my italics ) , the wives, husbands and children of the military’s 2.2 million soldiers, sailors and airmen often face lonely struggles with issues as critical as finding jobs and changing schools to tasks as mundane as mowing the lawn and shoveling the snow.‘ The first lady then announces that she plans to encourage businesses, celebrities, nonprofit groups and others to pitch in and help. Jill Biden then stresses how ‘Individuals need to step up. Whether it’s an offer to babysit, make a meal or car pool the kids… ‘ Now get this:  ‘ “Joining Forces” will be managed by a three member board that includes retired general Stanley McChrystal ( my italics ) who stepped down as commander of US forces in Afghanistan last year after criticizing VP Biden and other officials in a Rolling Stone magazine article. ‘  Basically, McChrystal felt that we were not aggressive enough in Afghanistan , which only results in the more we kill, the more our guys will be at risk. Orwell, can you believe this!?

So, we are living in a country where it does not matter who in the hell is leading us. Michelle Obama and her husband may have been the nicest of people before they got deeply involved in politics. Just remember the old saying ‘When you lie down with pigs you get up smelling like one.’  Whomever the Obama’s handlers are in the Military Industrial Complex via the Pentagon, boy they sure pulled a doozy here! I mean, who could argue with wanting to help the families of all our military personnel stuck in those hornet’s nests in the Middle East? We took our reservists and guardsmen, placed guns in their hands and made them essentially jailers in places we have no business ever being in. The USA Today story goes on to relate how Wal-Mart (America’s number one dead end job employer) will ‘guarantee a job at a nearby store for military family members who have been transferred to another part of the country. ‘ So, we  transform‘ weekend soldiers  into illegal and immoral occupiers of foreign lands, where death is all too common, and then promise to pitch in and mow their lawns and babysit their kids while their spouses work some low paying job. Michelle and Jill, did you ever think that this whole exercise is an ‘inside out one ‘? If we really cared about these people, maybe, duh, you could ‘ Join Forces ‘ and get your fannies out on the street corners with us and say ‘ Bring the Troops Home Now! ‘ ? Maybe start a nationwide movement with retired veterans for peace and not the war hawk McChrystal?

Do the Obamas and the Bidens realize that it costs taxpayers $ 1.2 million per year to keep a soldier in Afghanistan? Can you imagine how many military families can be helped with 1.2 million dollars? While on the subject of money spent, Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden, check out the news item from the Tuesday  April 12th Money section of USA Today. It reveals the benefit perks some CEOs receive… while families of our military need someone to ‘mow the lawn and babysit the kids ‘. Larry Ellison of Oracle (a big Democratic Party contributor) receives nearly $ 1.5 million for security services (just for him and his family). Howard Schultz (another Democratic supporter?) received $ 210,000 for security services on top of compensation valued at more than $ 21.5 million! That’s a lot of lattes! Poor Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express, received personal use of a corporate jet valued at $ 200,000. How many rides to the supermarket for our soldiers’ spouses could that buy? Am I insane or are the rest of you out there who still feel no outrage?  Michelle and Jill, you want to help those military families monetarily? How about getting Barack and Joe and their Democratic party to demand Surtax for all millionaires? How about leaving the current tax rate as is and demanding a 50 % flat tax on all income over one million dollars? Some of that extra revenue could go to helping families in need, whether they are military families or just plain old American working poor.

It is time for the majority of Americans to cease being ostriches and start behaving like eagles!

Philip A. Farruggio is son and grandson of Brooklyn NYC longshoremen. A graduate of Brooklyn College, class of ’74, Philip has been an anti war activist since the Vietnam War. He has over 250 columns posted on various sites, including, most recently, Dandelion Salad and Dissident Voice. Philip can be reached at

2 thoughts on “Prolonging the Agony… And Then Honoring It? by Philip A. Farruggio

  1. thanks matthew. i hope your mom and dad are well. i agree with you on your insights. hope you get the book ‘ JFK and the Unspeakable ‘ . great reading and fantastic revelations. astounding!

  2. We need John F. Kennedy. He never would have gotten us into this mess. Unfortunately, we’ve already seen what happens when men of courage attempt to undermine the power that the military industrial complex has on our nation. For example, Kennedy pushed for real civil rights, by desegregating southern colleges; wanted to pull us out of Vietnam; sought to lessen the power of the Federal Reserve over the economy; and was not going to implement a false flag against the American people (“Operation Northwoods”). Our last real president was Kennedy. And until the corporatism and global banking oligarchs are removed from their authority on our nation, we will never again have a real president.

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