Saturday, October 1, 2011

War Veteran: "Yes, I'm a 99er."

Originally posted to Military Community Members of Daily Kos and republished by Occupy Wall Street

My unemployment ran out two weeks ago. I applied for food stamps this week. I am in the process of applying for Mass Health. We are probably going to have to move as we can no longer afford our current apartment. I am at the point where I literally have almost nothing left to lose, and I am angry.

It is my understanding that the Occupy Wall Street movement had finally arrived in the Boston area. So I guess it's time for me to join in. I can hardly wait.

Yeah, I am angry. Actually, in some ways, angry is an inadequate word. Angry does not begin to describe how I feel right now. Angry is to what I feel as "damp" is to being at the bottom of the Atlantic.

I have always done what I am supposed to do. I have tried to follow the rules and be a good citizen. I went through 12 years of public schooling and not once did I end up in the principal's office. I was an Eagle Scout. I went to Mass every Sunday. I have never gotten in trouble with the law. Hell, I have never even gotten a speeding ticket. I vote, and I like to think I am an informed voter.

I volunteered for the Army, and for the infantry. I volunteered for missions in places no one has ever heard about, and probably no one could find on a map. I have endured living conditions that most people would find unbearable - monsoon rains, mud up to your knees, giant insects crawling on you, venomous snakes slithering into your tent (when we had tents) at night. I waited for re-supply that went overdue, putting 100 mile an hour tape on my boots to hold them together until I could get a new pair. Many times I had to make the hard choice between carrying more water, more food, or more ammunition. I pulled engorged leeches off my body, shot snakes that had curled up on my poncho liner, and had more mosquito bites per square inch of exposed skin than you can imagine. I endured chafing, blisters, sores, scrapes, bruises, boils, borderline trenchfoot, and a horrific case of dysentery. And I haven't even talked about what combat was like.

I am sick of it. I am sick of a system that consistently lets me down. I am sick of a government that fails to help the people that need help the most. I am sick of a Congress that just can't stop kissing the asses of those people with more money than any human being could spend in a lifetime. And I am tired of virtually everyone on TV and radio defending those same rich assholes as they plunder the country and lead the world to ruin. All these talking heads and bought politicians and economic "experts" expect us all to accept the way things are because they know what's best for us. They expect us all to take it lying down because in true Ayn Rand fashion, they think they are better than us, and we are lesser than them. They think that if THEY didn't show up to work tomorrow, society would come to a screeching halt. They think THEY are indispensable, THEY are the "creators", and we, the great masses of ordinary people, are disposable and replaceable. We are the "leeches" and the "parasites". In their minds, we don't matter. In their world, it is an affront to their dignity when we demand they actually pay more taxes than the measly 15% on capital gains they are paying now. "Boy, the nerve of those peons! Don't they know how important WE are? What would happen if we all pulled a John Galt and just went on strike?"

Here's what would happen: a spontaneous eruption of cheers across the globe, as long-abused underlings are finally able to get things accomplished without being blocked by the corporate sociopaths above them. Suddenly all those great ideas that got stopped by the Boss because he didn't think of them would get tried. And maybe things would be done to benefit more people than the CEO and the Board. I know, all of you people who think Atlas Shrugged has some basis in reality will say "oh, no, if CEO John G. Douchebag didn't contribute any more at Corporate Hellhole, LLC, the whole company will just implode and collapse". Gee, that's funny, because all of the evidence of the last decade or so seems to indicate that companies implode and collapse WHEN SOCIOPATH CEOS RUN AMOK AND NO ONE FUCKING STOPS THEM.

So no, you are not creators, at least not in the way that you mean. If you manage to create anything at all, you create things like Ponzi schemes and flawed mergers and cooked books. You create enormous amounts of pollution and employees with work-based illnesses and injuries. You create thousands and tens of thousands of unemployed, and retirees with vaporized pensions. You create sweatshops and overseas factories with brutal conditions and pathetic pay. And yet, because you have managed to so thoroughly enrich yourselves at the expense of not only the public, but often your own employees and shareholders, you think you are goddamn geniuses. Entrepreneurs, capitalists, and captains of industry. People who deserve to be catered to and deferred to, like an aristocracy of capitalism. Because in your little empathy-free minds, you make the world go round. After all, who can deny your importance when you have eight homes, and twenty luxury automobiles, and three yachts, and a private jet, and a $20,000 Saddam Hussein Commemorative Golden Toilet? It's the eternal call of the narcissistic rich asshole: "Don't you know who I am?!?!? I am IMPORTANT!!! WITHOUT ME YOU ARE NOTHING!!!"

No, you sociopathic, deluded, evil, swollen-ego fucknuts. It is WE who make the world go round. Regular people. Working people. Not you.

WE grow the food, and harvest it, and drive it to market, and stock the shelves with it, and work the registers to sell it. WE buy the food, stock the restaurant's freezers with it, cook it, and serve it. If we didn't show up tomorrow, what would you eat, assholes? You even know how to cook on a stove? If we didn't show up for a week, how would you eat?

WE fight the fires, and catch the crooks, and take you to the hospital. WE build and fix the roads, and the bridges, and the public buildings, and the schools, and even your ridiculously excessive mansions. WE maintain the power plants, and the power lines, and the sewer lines, and all the other things you use every day without thinking. If all of us "peons" weren't there to drive your limos and yachts and aircraft, how would you get anywhere? You going to drive yourself to the hospital? You going to fix your own car too, asshole? Pump your own gas? Change your oil? You planning on shitting in a bucket when your sewer main breaks, dickhead? Because I sure as hell know you are unable and unwilling to fix it yourself.

We fight the wars that you get our country involved in. We are pulled away from our families for months and years at a time. We are the ones who are bloodied and battered. We are the ones who end up in trauma centers with parts missing and tubes sticking out of us. We are the ones who die. If we were not there, there would be no one to fight your wars for you. You get to pick the wars to fight, and then make millions and billions off the deaths of other people.

In your little tadpole minds, that makes us disposable. Replaceable. We are a dime a dozen, and to you we are always on sale. We ordinary folk are inconsequential to you. We are the peasantry. You? You are the KINGS and QUEENS. You are the assholes who stand on the balconies drinking champagne, laughing and mocking the protesters marching below you.

Well, maybe no one has told you yet, but guess what? You have awakened a sleeping giant, motherfuckers. So you may want to hold off on that whole Marie Antoinette "let them eat cake" bit. That did not end well for those who thought themselves aristocrats. So don't push us too far, or sometime soon, you may find yourselves standing before an angry crowd screaming for your heads.

Related Post: Are American War Veterans Lazy? - by Bud Meyers

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