For the first time in my adult life (where have we heard that?) I am afraid for the future of our nation. Why? A myriad of reasons. Here are a few.
The BP oil spill is a "man caused disaster" of perhaps biblical proportion. It must be said that the "biblical proportion" part may be overstated. It is probable that the oceans will break down the petroleum and the environmental damage will be minimized. You must note that I did not say minimal however. The salt and fresh water marshes that have been affected will take a very long time to come back. The fishing industry, both commercial and recreational, have taken a huge hit and many of those who make their living in these endeavors will not be coming back. The tourism industry will be affected to a great extent but that should not be long term. Of course this is all dependent on BP "plugging the damn hole." It will be plugged before long (hopefully)or we are certainly all up the ass of the Prophet. While the environmental damage is and will be quite significant the thing that really scares me is the radical faction(s) in the federal government now have an excuse to damage or destroy an industry that is of prime importance to the economic well being and national security of the nation. How? By severely curtailing off shore oil drilling. Now I may be in favor of a temporary "moratorium" on deepwater drilling - It is apparent that the oil industry has little idea how to stop a major oil spill at those depths, but it is assured that lessons are being learned the hard way. It would have been better for all concerned of course if the oil industry had a real game plan before a disaster of this magnitude, but it is obvious they did and do not. Of course they should be required to "plug the damn hole," pay for clean up, and restore livelihood to those adversely affected. It is interesting the BP is the company involved in this disaster. They do appear to have a very bad safety record. Either they are extremely unlucky or they have some major safety deficiencies to rectify. Be that as it may, a temporary deepwater moratorium does make some sense, but shallow water drilling and of course land work should continue unabated. It truly frightening but somewhat predictable that the government may try to totally derail the industry at the cost of untold thousands of direct and indirect jobs.
Now back to deepwater drilling- Pemex (Mexico) apparently is operating deepwater rigs in the Gulf. India and China and of course Cuba considering (if not already are) drilling in the Gulf in the Cuban economic zone. Agreements have been signed by Cuba and Russia also. So if these countries are to drill deepwater then our nation still is at great risk to having unabated petroleum foul the Gulf and wash up on our shores. Will the moratorium on deepwater drilling affect the aforementioned nations? Not at all. Can the U.S. force a deepwater moratorium on foreign interests. Not legally. Our government could I suppose invoke a bastardized version of the Monroe Doctrine to enforce compliance. That may of course require military coercion - something that will not happen. The naval forces of Mexico are pretty darn good, with anti air and ASW capabilities, are probably close to top notch for a third world nation, but would be swept from the ocean in a matter of hours by the sea power of the U.S. Cuba has no navy to speak of any more. A few Osa class missile boats I believe are the only naval forces left functional. Not a threat. The diplomatic and military outcome of tampering with Russia, China or India over Gulf oil rigs would be problematic. No any military response to foreign deepwater drilling in the Gulf is out of the question. So what good does a moratorium on deepwater drilling do in reality? Very little. If it be temporary, so be it. A time out if you will and probably a good idea. However, the moratorium may be a first step in the dismantling of an industry that is of vital importance to the nation. That is what scares me. Fundamental change you see.
Now let us examine another subject. The assault of illegal immigration upon this nation's sovereignty. This is a national defense issue of great importance. There is at this time a war being fought on our southern border that is every bit as dangerous as the conflicts in the Middle East and Afghanistan. What are we doing to protect our citizenry in the border states and beyond? Very little it seems. Some border patrolmen, county deputies, small town cops, state troopers, etc etc. are not enough to stop the invasion nor prevent the war from spilling over into our southern counties. We will hear some leftists complain that the border violence is a direct result of drug consumption by those in the U.S. They have a valid point here, but in reality that does not matter. What does matter is that the border and even interior Mexico are becoming more and more anarchic and that violence will and has found its way over the border. This does not even include the possibility of Mohammedan terrorists crossing the border. Does national defence not matter? Seal that border and do it now and with any means necessary. This would seem the most rational policy. Instead what we have are attempts by states to control the problem that will be hampered by the same federal government that is required to protect this nation. A very scary (and perhaps treasonous) scenario indeed.
I guess now we should discuss Mohammedan terrorism, both state sponsored and "independent." There is no doubt that this nation and our allies are still in grave danger from the spectre of Islamic terrorism. It has been near a decade since the horrible attack on our country. We are not the only nations so affected. There have been attacks in Spain and the U.K. Troops from all over the globe have been killed in the war against "the religion of peace." Oh sorry, we are not in a war with Islam? Excuse me. History shows otherwise. Now again there are those, mainly from the left (Pat B. and some right wing radicals like Dr. Duke excepted), who insist that our support of Israel and our "exploitation" of Mohammedan resources are the main factors of the conflict. They insinuate that if we would just drop our support for the "Zionist entity" and remove our boot from Muslim lands then all would be forgotten and we could all live in harmony. Perhaps they have a valid point, but that matters little. At any rate, does a cop concern himself with the socio economic background of a criminal when making an arrest? No. We as a nation need not concern ourselves too greatly on why we are hated by most Mohammedans either. It is enough for the cop to make an arrest based on criminal action as well it should be. It should also be enough for us in this nation not to concern ourselves to greatly with the "whys" in the conflict with Islam. It is enough that we are in conflict and should fight the battle without one hand tied behind our back. In a sane world there would be no such thing as an Iran, Al Qaeda, Hamas, etc. etc. The problem would have already been resolved satisfactorily. The fact that it is not scares me.
What else. Well for one thing this country needs to take a look at some sort of education reform. The classic liberal education (not politically liberal) does not seem to be working for us any longer. Our nation's children are falling behind. Curriculum is dumbed down and this is detrimental to our national security. Of course children should be taught history, social studies, English literature, etc. etc. but a greater emphasis should be placed on mathematics and the hard sciences. There is a lot of fluff in the public school systems that do very little to educate kids for the real world. There are a lot of kids who are not, as the say, "college material." There is no shame in this. Some kids just are not interested in college and in reality some are not "geared that way." There should also be some real world vocational training in the systems that can teach a kid to frame houses, work on automobiles, start small business, food prep training, etc. etc. Some districts have this already of course, but a great many rely solely on a "college prep" curriculum for all. It wastes a good deal of time for those not so inclined to further their "formal" studies.
The federal government probably should have a role in education of course, but the majority of the decision making needs to be at the local level. Of course there are a great many school districts that struggle financially just to provide the basic "readin, writin and rithmathtic." This is a huge problem and we in this nation need to find a solution. Quickly.
These are just a few of the problems this great nation faces but we need to start somewhere to get this nation back on track. We will surely go the way of the Roman Empire if we do not begin the process now.
For the first time in my adult life I am truly afraid for our future.