Today is Memorial Day, and I myself agree with the sentiment of respecting individuals who giveup lives, freedom, and economic comfort in the name of protecting our own. As nations developed, militaries became necessary to protect the individuals and society from the outside, police to protect individuals from threats on the inside, and national guards to safeguard the countries internal affairs. To protect people from reigns of religiously-sanctioned monarchies, the concept of democracy-elected governments-developed, and to safeguard this, the concept of freedom of speech, freedom, of religion, and freedom of press, and to ensure this literacy and economic stability for individual people had to be promoted by schools, while our armed forces elected (usually) on the promise of securing these necessities, but the fact is these people are ordered by governments, who are increasingly being elected with large businesses, churches, and special interest groups being counted as individual voters (Citizens United), along with the wealthy people who run them. I've lived in this country my whole life, and would never dream of leaving this country if it were not necessary for my own personal safety, but I cannot, without feeling the weight of inconsistencies, call this the land of the free when it was among the last country in the West to abolish the official owning of human beings, and nowadays the last country in the West to allow people the right to marry the love of their live in the name of an All-loving god, and deny families and individuals the right to have their living expenses of wealthy individuals who live off their labor, and spends more money the rest of the world combined to lock people up with nodecrease in crime, while the government uses its tax money to widen the gap between the rich and the poor, while governments subsidizing the rich decide debates on poverty based on free-loaders, while groups suffering from centuries of unpaid labor are shot fornon-lethal crimes, when only a portion of the population are guaranteed clean air, drinking water, and land, when it raises tax revenue from draining the resources and labor force from oppressed countries for minimal compensation, while men and women are sent to war for the expenses of the wealthy and have their survival needs neglected, while the "burden" of raising a disabled child is used to minimalize the burden on society for locking them up, when the law does not go far enough to deny impunity to men who would use women for their sex slavery and call the resulting life-long burden a gift from the divine, when politicians agree to protect a child only until it grows up in poverty or waits voiceless without a family until years when bureaucratic regulations have been negotiated, when diversity and multiculturalism is dictated on the terms of the dominant groups, and when individuals can live off starvation wages, seventy-five cents for the dollar for women, wage discrimination for ethnic minorities, shortcuts around protecting people's ecosystems, collections of tax-payer money, fictitous trade-offs in the Third World, and increased barriers to higher education, and call it "their hard-earned money." Indeed, until large businesses, religious fundamentalists, misogynistic frat boys, and self-promoting parents no longer control the fates of women, the poor, LGBTQs, and disabled people can I truly feel comfortable calling this the Land of the Free.