OK. You had to enroll in the armed forces so you would have a chance to go to college. Now, you’ve been pulled over to Iraq to fight “something” that our “fearless” leaders call a “war” — meanwhile, your wife gives birth to you first child. You are not there for the birth. Medical problems are encountered for both your wife and your newly born son. Thank God, they both pull through and are OK.

However, your wife is unable to work and the baby requires a great deal of medical treatment. Insurance covers some, but not enough. Your wife uses that American Express Card you received to cover some of the bills to ensure that your son gets the best treatment possible — that treatment is already not so good because your wive has to use the lower income hospital where the HMO makes all the rules.

Before long, you and your wife are spiraling into debt and your income for fighting Mr. President’s “war” is not making ends meet. If only you could get home — maybe you could get a job that would pay enough to get your family out of debt. But, you are stuck. Stuck until a bullet pierces your skull. Thank God, you survive. You are returned home and you begin the slow process of being approved for perm. disabilty. Your wive has developed hives from worry and you are becoming fat as the cheap food in the fridge seems to be all that can give you comfort. The medical bills stack up and the AmEx card dried up long ago. Neither of you answer the phone for fear of having to be treated like shit by some underpaid collection agent from AmEx.

Finally, your uncle convinces you to swallow your pride and file for bankruptcy. As he explains it — this is the only way you will ever get your family out of debt and your only hope to start clean so that, maybe, you will be able to get your son into college one day — if the HMO system puts enough effort into getting his health on track.

You find out that another of your buddies just came back from Iraq in a rubber bag. This only adds to the constant pain you’re having to learn to deal with as the HMO feels you do not qualify for a special surgery available in Canada.

You recieve a formal notice that American Express is going to sue you. You contact a Bankruptcy Attorney. And, then you are told that your President — the one you voted for because the Democrat seemed too “educated” to “get” you — helped push a new law which ends the ability to file for bankruptcy. You and your wife will be paying $100 a month for the next 15 years to pay off the debt that was incurred while you were “protecting” the country you love.

Your President, Congress, Big Corporate Banks/Credit Cards and the Super Wealthy have just told you to fuck off. You are worthless and do not deserve a chance to rebuild your life so that your son might have a chance to escape the hell in which he is being raised.

The thought occurs to you that you are not even at the poverty level. You are middle class.

And you wonder, is this how it starts? The gradual errosion of human rights. The gradual take over by the coproate machine which keeps folks like your “President” wealthy. …Will your son even have the opportunity to fight a useless greedy war so that he can get an education —- or, by the time he is 17 — will you and your family become slaves working in camps designed to keep the machine running while the wealthy go on about their businesses?

How long will we all just sit and watch our country continue to bully other countries and de-humanize anyone who makes less than $150K a year? How long will we continue to allow our government to define what is “appropriate” love? How long will we allow our rights to be taken away so that Bank of America and Sony can make more money? How much longer will we let our farmers, nurses and teachers be underpaid and overworked? How much longer we will continue to all agree to sit in the back of the bus because we do not opt to live the life a few assholes have decided is the only “acceptable” way? How long will people pretend that folks like C. Rice is not really scoring points for the rights of women or the advancement of People of Color? How long before we realize that she is little more than a sad Uncle Tom parody used to fool the masses? How long before the inner-city gangs wise up and turn the guns away from each other and aim them at “us”? How long before we stop worrying about other countries and focus on the fact that we have people in our country who barely get enough food to eat? How long before we realize that our failure to put more importance on education is destroying out future? How long before we do something about the fact that the evil men behind the Enron scandal are still walking about free while the 18 year old kid who held up a convenience store with a toy gun is sitting in prison till he hits his 58th birthday? How many more of our kids are going to die “protecting” democracy when we really know that they are there to keep us close to oil? How much longer are we going to let people like George Bush ruin our country?

How much longer are we all going to be stupid? …or, is it already too late?

April 14, 2005. Uncategorized.


  1. Jon replied:

    Great post, Matt. I think, sadly, many Americans have eaten the fruit of stupidity long ago. As have plenty of other countries, though education seems to be more important in Europe and Asia than here.

    It’s odd, because Americans are very hard working people, for the most part. We have that new country work ethic ‘hard work pays off’- which used to be true, for my GRANDPARENTS. But it’s not enough- these days, you can bust your ass, have a college education, but never get anywhere. Now, I don’t believe that every American is entitled to a Mercedes and a Saks gift card, but the ‘hard work pays off’ mentality should NOT apply to healthcare!

  2. Anonymous replied:

    Same here, Matt ! Your post is hitting the nail right on the head. Sad but very true !

    The CBC here in Canada has a radio program, discussing Ivan Illich books on Education-Religion- Social Welfare-Foreign Aid. Use your google search engine and you’l be surprised what goldnuggets you may find. He died in 2002 in Bremen, germany. I have a couple of his books.
    The ones I have are:Medical Nemesis the other one is: Celebration of Awareness !
    Hopefully you may still get those books in a library ?

    Let me know ?

  3. snarl71 replied:

    Wow, Matt! That was brilliant! Give em hell!

  4. Karyn replied:

    Go, Matty, go!

    Although I feel compelled to confess that I don’t object to the war persay, I think it’s been handled badly. While I don’t like seeing US Casualties & hardship, I also don’t like petty little shitass tyrants bullying the bejeezus out of us with taunts of WMD or fuel lockouts, terrorism, ad infinitum. If we’re able to take out a tyrant, it’s ok by me. The healthcare though? That’s a disgrace. And the work ethic that Jon’s post references is spot-on. You can work your ever loving ass off in this era and the reward is….more work. I know a couple college grads who work in a video store, in a movie theatre, in a gas station and who just scrape by, never mind the Benz & the Saks card. Middle class is becoming a thing of the past. Now you are wealthy or you are f*cked.

    Now. What put that particular bee in your bonnet?

  5. adrock2xander replied:

    This sounds a lot like the situation in Singapore…hmmm…i could write somethin bout it…

    But well written Matt…im sure there’re heaps of American families who arent doin too well right now…


  6. Anonymous replied:

    This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. matty replied:

    This post has been removed by the author.

  8. Peach replied:

    An excellent statement – bravo! Terrifingly true and well written.

    I’m flabberghasted. Why ARE the wealthy treated so differently? You would think that a lot of them started out poor (or, maybe not) and that they would remember what it was like to worry about how to support their families or how to pay for healthcare.

    How come they get to choose how things are run? They can’t be any better than us po’ folks.

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