Monday, May 27, 2013

This Memorial Day, get the money out!

Happy Memorial Day everyone! To celebrate, here's the inaugural post of my new blog. This blog is going to tackle a whole host of social issues, many of them controversial if not downright contentious. So, let’s get the ball rolling.

As I’m sure you know, Memorial Day is a holiday set aside for us to honor and remember our fallen military personnel. It's fitting that we commemorate the lives of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Unfortunately, we have no shortage of people to honor. We seem to be in a perpetual state of aggression, if not of outright war. Why is this?

I think President Dwight D. Eisenhower hit the nail on the head with his January 17, 1962 farewell address*.

What he warned against has come to pass. The military industrial complex has become so powerful that it is seemingly unstoppable in its quest for conflict. Why should organizations whose aim is to create more destruction be given such a revered position in our society? One word: money. 

Companies that make weaponry or supply soldiers make money during times of war. They make lots of money. Thanks to Citizen’s United and other rulings, they can use unlimited amounts of that money to buy politicians. The politicians then do the bidding of the companies that bought them. This leads to those companies making even more money, and the cycle continues. 

There are groups fighting to break that cycle. Some hope to overturn the Citizen’s United ruling, but others, among them Wolf-PAC and Move To Amend, believe that the only solution is to pass a constitutional amendment limiting the power of corporations and stipulating that corporations are not people. Believe it or not, such an amendment is gaining momentum in several states. Click the links to learn more and to help push your own state into calling for a constitutional convention to pass this 28th amendment.

Obviously, we have a long hard road ahead of us before we can take back our democracy and insist that our representatives actually represent us. However, I’m an optimist by nature. I hope the time will come when we’ll be a lot more judicious in adding to the ranks of people we have to think about on days like today.

Since I posted this, an update came out about the efforts of Wolf-PAC, which I'm including here. Full disclosure, I volunteer for Wolf-PAC.

*You can read the entire speech here.


  1. What you say is all too true.

    Obviously, this viewpoint is very U.S.-centric. European nations used to fight wars among themselves ALL THE TIME, but now most of the European nations are less inclined to join in wars than is the U.S., and those that they do join, they make smaller, shorter commitments. How did Europe become less warlike, and how can we in the U.S. learn from this example?

  2. Excellent question. Do they have tighter controls on legalized bribery?


What are your thoughts? I welcome civil disagreement and discussion.