Heroes and Villains

Hero: A person noted for special achievements; celebrated for strength and bold exploits.

A friend of mine, the late Bill Klasne, had many great stories to share. Bill was an ex Chicago cop, a student of history and lover of thoroughbred horse racing (along with this writer). One early week day morning many years ago, Bill was driving with his young son Nick. They passed by a bus stop and observed this solitary man awaiting the bus. He had work clothes on and carried a lunchbox. Bill turned to his son and remarked: “You see that guy there? When we talk of heroes, that guy is a hero. Here it is seven AM on a cold and windy Chicago morning, and that guy is on his way to work, ready to punch out eight hours for most likely his family.”

This writer once wrote a human interest story for my editor Nick Klasne about another guy who we both deemed a hero. This fellow worked in the nursing home where my parents resided. He was a janitor, pushing his mops and brooms from six to three each day… and then on to his other job at a hospital, doing the same thing. This guy worked almost 80 hours a week and was lucky to pull in $30,000 a year…. about what a pro athlete earns in less than one game! Or what most CEOs earn in one hour! Is there something wrong with this picture?

Our soldiers are sent to occupy nations we have no business invading and occupying, and they earn less than $50,000 a year. Yet, it costs we taxpayers over one million dollars a year to keep them there. Who is making the money? Private mercenaries get paid around $200,000 a year to occupy those places. The weapons industry gets mega millions for the WMDs, helicopters and other vehicles Uncle Sam buys for these phony wars. Yet, many of us stick those yellow ribbons on our cars and think that we are honoring our heroes.

Villain: A wicked person; scoundrel.

People in the Occupy Movement (and now the Democrats) love to mention the 99% vs. the 1%. Well, it is even more heinous than that. Less than 1% of us earn in excess of one million plus per year; perhaps ¼ of 1% of us are in that bracket.

What gets me is how many of my neighbors out there still treat the millionaires and mega millionaires like heroes! We make celebrities out of the super rich. “After all”, many tell me, “these people worked hard for their money and they deserve it.”

I guess the janitor mentioned above and the countless others who keep this engine America running do not so deserve. Who is more worthwhile to those who have a parent or grandparent in some nursing home: the CEO who runs the nursing corporation or the aide who cleans the **** from your relative’s rear end and sheets? The basketball mega millionaire (or his owner) or that EMT person who keeps someone alive in that ambulance? The lobbyist/consultant who pulls in more in one day than your kid’s teacher earns in one year? The mercenary AKA Private contractor who takes in $4000 a week or the local cop who watches your streets and homes for less than $1000 a week?

So who are the villains? Anyone who perpetuates a system that allows all of the above to function because they are in power and influence because of such a wicked and twisted system… they are the villains! Are you?

Philip A Farruggio is regular columnist on itstheempirestupid website. He is the son and grandson of Brooklyn NYC longshoremen and a graduate of Brooklyn College, class of 1974. Since the 2000 election debacle Philip has written over 500 columns on the Military Industrial Empire and other facets of life in an upside down America. He is also host of the It’s the Empire… Stupid radio show, co produced by Chuck Gregory. Philip can be reached at paf1222@bellsouth.net. Read other articles by Philip.