The Militarization of Penn State
At Penn State, nationalism doesn't just mean waving flags; it also means building bombs. I got forwarded a great, in-depth article showing the obvious -- and hidden -- influences of the Pentagon on Penn State University.
At halftime, attendees were asked to applaud the choice to join the military during a mock swearing-in ceremony held at midfield for high school students who had recently enlisted.
This encroaching militarization of American culture conjured scant resistance. The lone voice of dissent to appear in the area newspapers came from a class of '83 alumnus who attended the game. His fellow letter-to-the-editor writers -- most of whom were students -- roundly dismissed his questioning of "whether participating in the military is still the right thing to do" when "our leaders ignore international law, national and world opinion."
As recently as 2003, Penn State ranked 48th on the Department of Defense's Research Development Technology and Expenditure Top 100 list, pulling in nearly $63 million in contract awards. But when all forms of Defense Department funding get added in -- for a number of obscure or untraceable projects -- the grand total is slightly more than $75 million.
Given that more than 50 percent of income tax dollars goes to the Pentagon, students and their parents are, in effect, helping to pay this bill.