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Selise, Why Am I the Only Person in America Wearing a Black Arm Band?

[FWIW, this is an extended comment I made to Selise in my last diary.]

Selise, why am I the only person in America wearing a black arm band?

A woman, an acquaintance, yesterday asked me if I had a death in my family. I said the arm band was for my country. I put it on back in mid-May for the illegal torture travesty, vowing as soon as the Obama administration cleaned up that travesty I would take it off.

I told her I also keep it on now for the travesties of the wars. So many deaths of Americans and Middle Eastern peoples for power and money. Not for helping humanity.

I told her I am also now wearing it for the 45,000 premature American deaths each year for lack of health care.

I wish I could say I was verbally assertive with the woman who asked, like the black arm band itself, but instead I was apologizing for being an "eccentric". Since mid-May only three people have ever asked about the arm band. She caught me off guard.

What a goofy middle-aged woman I was running around with a black arm band for the state of her country. That’s how I sadly saw myself reflected in her eyes. She looked dismayed, not unkind, but definitely not getting it, not comfortable with "it" or me at that moment, despite her nods of acknowledgment the country was screwed up as I began spewing the insane situations of our country. So many fresh and not so fresh hells. Or maybe she was backing away because she just wanted me to shut up about it all.

As I turned away I suddenly thought, "There is nothing psychologically wrong with me!" Unless it is that the black arm band isn’t personally dramatic enough considering the horrifying trouble this country and its people are in.

Power is in the hands of the betraying leadership and also the apathetic sheeple, who I guess have their bottom line: "As long as I personally am not dying this week in Iraq or Afghanistan or Fort Hood, or from lack of health care — or anyone in my near and dear, or maybe that makes me sad, but not enough to do anything about it — I will plod on as the country gets economically raped by Dems and Repubs in the same Greed-is-Good and we-are-not-regulated millionaire’s-billionaire’s club (soon to be a trillionaire’s) and patriotic young Americans and innocent Middle Easterners abroad who are trying to sustain their lives will gratuitously die. Well, not gratuitous deaths at all for the sociopathic profiteers and egotistical power mongers.

BTW, lots of millionaire-plus clubbers in our Congress right now. They are taking good care of their clubmates and themselves, not us, their CINOs, "constituents in name only".

Stocks are going up for health care companies already because the reform the Congress is arranging for us will screw the American people even more and help the big fat cats in the corporations get fatter. Much fatter. Someone on a tv trailer for a Bill Moyers’ show explains, "The class war is over. We lost!"

Congress and Obama will have their supposed "victory" of passing something they call health care reform.

Obama is deciding what percentage of young men and women will be used as cannon fodder in Afghanistan soon, many of them already played Russian roulette, or had the US play it, with their lives, on earlier deployments. The game goes on. And if it is only 30,000 not the 40,000 McChrystal asked for, will we take comfort in that "increment" and act like Obama is being heroically assertive and maybe deserves a second peace prize?

One mother is having to have her child put in foster care by the government because she has a crisis in finding a caretaker while she is serving her country. God help her and the child, no extension on her deployment! A leadership without pity for ANYONE who is not in the power and money elite loop.

So Veteran’s Day was last week. And Congress and the Prez will commit people’s lives to go die in other countries in the name of democracy. Have always done that. Will set it up that citizens of other countries will die.

And Congress and the Prez will let citizens struggle and die, too. Poverty is a sad thing, but, gee, they can only do so much. (BTW, the top 3 banks will give out $30 billion in bonuses for the holidays this year). Congress and the Prez will let people die for lack of health care. Congress and the Prez are on the friggin’ "TAKE."

And would they — Congress and the Prez — sacrifice their actual lives for their country? Do it a few times in their lives, even? Having survived the horrors go back into that hell again? The hell of war is a hell that keeps on giving, if you make it out of there alive the first time.

Would they sacrifice their jobs, risk them by taking an unpopular morally and politically risky stand, if it would save 45,000 American lives a year? No, because they have shown that. Selise, I would. If I knew 45,000 Americans were dying this year and I could stop it. My vote at a job might tank my job but still help to save all those lives this year and in future years? I would and I bet you and a lot of Americans would.

Would Congress or the Prez, say, give up wearing their favorite pair of Gucci loafers for a week if it would help someone?

I’d say they are not ready to sacrifice to that degree. Yeah, I am bitter. But I bet I am right, even on that.

Why am I the only person wearing a black arm band in America?

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