Our government was established on the system of checks and balances.  This system is imperative in order to have a strong, thriving, democracy.  When the government fails to remember this, it is the job of the people of this country to remind them of that fact.  We have a program currently where our generals retire on a six figure tax payer funded pension.  They then become what they call “mentors” to the US Military and help run war game exercises gaining another tax payer funded pay check.  On top of that, these same generals go to work for defense contractors as consultants and get another tax payer funded paycheck.  Now I am a big Wilford Brimley fan as many of you know so I am all for a sassy senior going out there and getting stuff done. However, what disturbs me most about this program is the conflict of interest that arises when you have the same man working for the government and a private company that gets government contracts.  These retired generals work for both the defense industry and the government at the same time.  How are we supposed to take their guidance seriously when it comes to the purchase of weapons programs.  They are the ones telling us what we need and what we don’t need to keep our country safe, yet they get paid by an industry that gets billions of tax payer dollars if he says the right thing for them.  Clearly the checks and balance system has been undermined in this case.  There is no department to investigate this stuff and most of the generals are currently suing to keep the public from knowing how many of our tax dollars go directly into their pockets.  If they are doing nothing wrong with this program, why would they care?  I have put the link to USA Today story that chronicles the details in this post.  I think these kinds of programs are part of the reason that we spend more than every other country combined on our military.  If we are afraid and they say they are keeping us safe, we will let them do anything.  If we want true change to come to our society, the first thing we need to combat is our own fears.