It's Memorial Day weekend, time for barbeques, the Indy 500, and visits to the cemetary to honor those who fell in war time. These are all good things to do.
However, I believe the other American warriors existing today, beside the brave men and women who serve in our military around the world (and thank you all for serving), are the millions of people who are struggling to make a living in today's economy. There are way too many of us trying to get by on our social security and disability payments, our family support payments because we can't find jobs, food stamps, and medicare and medicaid. Too many states are bankrupt or verging on bankruptcy, and are cutting back benefits. Extended unemployment benefits are being cancelled because the jobless rate has improved. Unfortunately, the new jobs may pay far less than the old jobs, and the competition for the new jobs is so fierce that marginalized populations, like older workers, have little hope of finding anything outside of WalMart.
There are things we can do to help ourselves: grow food in your back yards, in containers on your balconies, in pots on your front porch. Do something entrepreneurial, even if it is babysitting, picking up after yuppie poochies, dog walking, pet sitting, making herb vinegars and oils and selling them at the local farmers market. Whatever. Of course, making and selling craft items presupposes one has the funds to buy raw materials.
Even trying these types of fixes may not be enough. How can we make our dissatisfaction known to our governments, both state and local, which all too often side with the oppressive corporation? That would be a good topic for discussion. We can boycott spending our limited funds at companies that do not put consumers first. We can write letters to the editor, go on the internet and post stories of consumer abuse. Gathering in the streets, even peacefully, is risky now, as evidenced by the dancers harassed by the police at the Jefferson Memorial. Good grief!
One thing we cannot do, we can't just drift along with the attitude that if stuff doesn't happen to us personally, all is well.