All posts tagged: Philip Farruggio

Jackie and Me: A Brooklyn Thing

Philip Farruggio We have memories, like flashes of lightning from afar- now we see them, now we don’t. Yet, one can almost call upon them at will, these bits and pieces of our lives, once so vivid, once so real, filed forever as nostalgia. So it is for me, fifty years after the fact. Brooklyn, circa 1955, was truly a special place. Those who did not live or come from Brooklyn told us that we were only a part of New York City- admittedly a large part, but a part. What did they know!? After all, to Brooklynites, who in the hell would brag about being from Manhattan or Queens or Da Bronx? No, they were all wrong. Brooklyn was a city, a world onto itself… and everyone knew it! I was born in Bensonhurst; actually I was born in Bay Ridge Hospital, located in the (duh!) Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, as different from Bensonhurst as Toledo is from Cleveland. Bay Ridge was home to countless Scandinavians; with more blondes per square block than …

Three Days of Infamy…

Philip Farruggio On Monday December 8th 1941 FDR stood before Congress and said “December 7th, 1941, a date that will live in infamy…” and the people of our nation rallied to the cause for justice. After 9/11 Junior Bush also rallied our people by telling us to “Get down to Disney World in Florida…take your families and enjoy life…” Meanwhile, our great Military Industrial Empire was given the go ahead to gear up for WAR. On March 19th, 2003 the Bush crew, led by former G.D. Searle CEO Rumsfeld (under his thumb the slow poison artificial sweetener Aspartame was born) announced the newest phony war term. That would be Shock and Awe as we carpet bombed and missile shredded Iraq’s infrastructure and citizenry. Why not, as this was good business for the Bush/Cheney donors who would then get contracts to clean up the mess or AKA Reconstruction. Isn’t infamy great? This writer has written on more than one occasion my experience of that fateful morning of March 19, 2003. The night before I was glued …

Gimme Some Truth

Philip Farruggio I’m sick and tired of hearing things from Uptight short sided narrow minded hypocritics All I want is the truth, just give me some truth I’ve had enough of reading things By neurotic psychotic pigheaded politicians All I want is the truth, just give me some truth No short-haired, yellow-bellied Son of tricky dicky’s Gonna mother hubbard soft soap me With just a pocket full of hopes Money for dope, money for rope John Lennon John Lennon wrote that song in 1971, and its value as message resonates even better today. His lyrics refer to some as ‘uptight, short sided (he meant “‘sighted”?) narrow minded hypo critics (he may have even meant those in the media who ‘critique’ the news)’. How sad that almost 50 years have passed and our A) Mainstream Media B) Politicians and C) The Corporate Consumer machine are still at it. They are equal opportunity bullshit artists, undertaking the task of distorting the truth about what is affecting our society. Of course, behind the OZ curtain stand the wizards …

The Silence that Absolves

Philip Farruggio A few years after the illegal and immoral invasion and occupation of Iraq, my 84 year old pal John and I would stand each Tuesday outside the local library with our protest signs. We had been out there, one hour each week, for over a year; and before that for six years on a busy street corner during rush hour. One day, this German lady approached us. She thanked us for taking the time out and added “You know, Americans don’t like to get out and protest. If this was Germany, and our government did what yours did, we’d have thousands outside this library, not just two people.” How correct she was. The Germans, the French and all the European peoples remember, or are taught, what it was like to be occupied and threatened by the Nazi police state. We Americans are lucky that our nation has never been occupied by a foreign power. Never! Thus, you would think that it might have been more difficult for us Americans to accept the propaganda …

Goebbels is alive and well…in Amerika

Philip A. Farruggio Peter Longerich’s 2015 biography Goebbels instructs well how history can and does repeat itself. Like many of the NeoCon ex “Lefties” who loaded up the Bush Sr. and Jr. administrations, Goebbels was at first a true socialist, perhaps even a Marxist sympathizer. [He had also seriously considered the Catholic priesthood.] As a young novelist and later journalist, he had a real dislike for the Fat Cat capitalists who he and others from both the political left and right blamed for Germany’s fall from grace. When he “found” Adolf Hitler, despite his many disappointments about Hitler from his diary entries ( including the fact that he fervently believed that Hitler was in love with Goebbels’ fiancé Magda … and perhaps vice versa), Goebbels joined the new Fuehrer Cult. As with many others in economically and culturally depressed Germany, Goebbels was enamored with the man he referred to as ‘The boss’. The need for a messianic leader, actually a dictator, was very prevalent among many in the NASDAP (Nazi party). So much so that …

The Real Left, Phony Left and What’s Left

Philip Farruggio Cutting to the chase, if you consider yourself to be ‘On the Left’ then you have to be a Socialist. Period! Now, there are many different levels under the banner of Socialism. Some may be Marxist, Trotskyite, Syndicalism etc. Yet, the unifying denominator is that all believe in the common ownership of the means of production and services. Many socialists do honor the existence of Mom and Pop private ownership of small business. Under a truly socialist system banking, energy, health & dental care, housing and all necessary services would be owned and operated by the community, whether it be local, state or federal. Imagine if you would if we had real community owned and run mortgage banks, where the only interest charges would be for overhead. Translated: Even in these so-called ‘low rates’ times, where a mortgage rate is around 4 or 5%, with non-profit community banks the rate would be perhaps 1%. Plus, the mortgage paper would remain with that bank. Today’s renters would be tomorrow’s owners of their own abode. …

Forget the Birth – Celebrate Christ the man

Philip Farruggio Funny how so many ‘so called’ Christians kneel and perform such pomp and circumstance every December 25th. All the beautiful Christmas decorations and wonderful seasonal songs are in fitting tribute to … WHAT? Do any of the myriad of hypocrites and phony spiritual seekers ever actually read what the baby Jesus said as a man: And when the people saw him come they said ‘All hail! Behold the king!’ But Jesus answered not; he saw the money changers in the house of God, and he was grieved. The courts had been converted into marts of trade, and men were selling lambs and doves for offerings of sacrifice. And Jesus called the priests and said ‘ Behold, for paltry gain you have sold out the temple of the Lord. This house ordained for prayer is now a den of thieves. Can good and evil dwell together in the courts of God? I tell you NO!’ And then he made a scourge of cords and drove the merchants out. He overturned their boards, and threw …

Happy ThanksGetting Day

Philip Farruggio Yes, we need to finally absolve ourselves, as Amerikans, from the con-job concerning Thanksgiving Day. All the ‘pomp and circumstance’ revolving around this holiday is just that, to quote Ebenezer Scrooge (one month early): Humbug! Of course, even the southern Colonial slaves and Northern ‘indentured servants’ of that era would be thankful to just have a roof over their heads and enough to eat each day. Yet, it was only the slave masters and owners of property and capital who could kneel in their churches or bow in reflected prayer at their lavish dinner tables in true thanksgiving. Amerika 2018 consists of well over 100 million of our citizens who are lucky just to stay head above water financially…perhaps a few paychecks from being out on the street…literally! How many families who live next door to me and to YOU (or maybe YOU yourself the reader) who have to have two (or more?) wage earners full time to just be able to function? How many single parents of even just one child need …

Upside Down Mark Twain

Philip Farruggio Mark Twain AKA Samuel Clemens ( 1835-1910) best known for his literary works like Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn, was also a man with deep rooted empathy for any underclass containing people of color. Few readers of his works realize that he was also a staunch opponent of imperialism, having been president of the Anti Imperialist League from 1901 to his death in 1910. Twain wrote about the treatment of the Chinese in San Francisco during the Civil War when he was a newspaper reporter. In 1865 he astonished many passersby, even those who fought for the abolition of slavery years earlier, when he chose to walk arm in arm through the San Francisco streets with the editor of the recently established Afro American newspaper, the Elevator. Of course, one of his most famous quotes was on his definition of politics: “To protect us from the crooks and scoundrels”. He also said something that resonates so strongly today: Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting …

AUDIO: “It’s the Empire Stupid”, Episode 37 – Edward Curtin

In this episode of his podcast, Philip Farruggio talks regular OffG contributor Edward Curtin about the current relevance of the movie “Network”. “ … in the film we see the introduction of what is now called ‘Realty Television’ taken to its satirical end. Curtin shows us how writer Paddy Chayefsky captures the anger so many felt then, and how his main character, Howard Beale came to represent ‘ Everyman’ when pushed against the wall of this empire. Curtin, a professor of Sociology, has used this film for years as a bridge to understand the how much our media is

Dead End Amerika

PA Farruggio Documentary film maker Marc Levin has a ‘must see ‘ film entitled Class Divide about the gentrification of the West Chelsea area of Manhattan (23rd street around 9th and 10th Avenues). HIs former documentary, Hard Times: Lost on Long Island (2012) followed four individuals who lost their financial sector white collar jobs after the 2008 Wall Street housing bubble burst. Viewing the film was disheartening, as we watch how devastated people who still believed in the false narrative of The American Dream can become. In Class Divide we learn that the western part of Chelsea, NYC is the fastest growing real estate sector in the entire city of New York. What was once mostly a low income working stiff neighborhood now hosts high rises and townhouses that cater to the super rich… not even just the 1%, rather the 1/4 of the 1%! Imagine a townhouse across from a Chelsea public housing project that sells for $ 10 million. For real! The sad irony to all this is that in 1937 director William …