Leaving our wounded to die

Published on Online Journal, by Jerry Mazza, December 17, 2010.

Homer troubled over the issue in his epic poems of war, the Odyssey and Iliad, 1300 centuries ago. But the Republican Senators who voted for tax cuts for the rich have no problem voting down the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act before and after the New Year. This as the make-up of Congress morphs from Democratic to “lame duck” (which pretty much represents its year-round character) to Republican, beyond “lame duck,” to Stone Age days, when the wounded were often left to die, including wounded victors.

But the bill I speak of that stands for civilization, humanity, decency is named after New York Police Department Detective James R. Zadroga, as downtownexpress.com writes, and is “designed to maintain continual annual funding to health care centers for sick 9/11 workers, as well as those who lived and worked in the contaminated area for months after the attacks.”

Though the bill passed the House last September, the Republicans have been using it as a bargaining chip to get the rich their tax cuts. Despite getting those cuts from a neophyte president and bamboozled Congress, as of this writing the Zadroga bill remains nixed unless House Democrats attack again with conscionable Republicans to challenge the vote … //

… Looking back in time, no less than one of America’s greatest writers, Ernest Hemingway, was a First Responder. Out of high school, he left his job as a reporter for The Kansas City Star, only to leave for the Italian front to be an ambulance driver during World War I, which, as Wiki tells us, “became the basis for his novel A Farwell to Arms.”

But first, Hemingway was seriously wounded and returned home within the year. Many of his greatest books revolve around the tragedies of war, both in them and after them. Who knows what this great soul saw that ultimately led him to take his own life in the summer of 1961. Could his inner wound have been an untreated PTSD, which he covered with alcohol and his great talent — a similar neglect that today brings 9/11’s giants to their knees and to the grave?

We can’t, ironically, in the words of GHW Bush before attacking Iraq in Gulf War 1, “let this stand.”

Thus this is not a matter for partisan minds, especially the likes of mini-soul Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell or the likes of the leading Republican in the House, John Boehner and his crocodile tears for the loss of the “American Dream.” The pursuit of life, liberty and justice is the “American Dream,” for everyone, not just sloppy-eyed Republicans, whose tears only exaggerate their hypocrisy while they simultaneously move to kill the Zadroga bill and bury us with debt. The bottom line is Do the Right Thing, America. Do the Right Thing. And that should exclude fawning over the rich continuously and include taking care of the true heroes of American life, the working and middle classes and the poor, who comprise the backbone of this nation and are not protected or cushioned by excessive money and wealth against the realities of fighting those wars. (full text):

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