Is the World Ending or Not? - Hard to Tell These Days
Let me see if I've got this right. There were 18 zillion gallons of oil per day escaping into the Gulf from that BP oil leak, and the whole world was going to be dripping with crude any day. Any human being venturing into the area was going to look like James Dean in that scene from the 1950's movie "Giant."
It was the biggest man-made disaster in the history of mankind. The Gulf states were all going to be destroyed. Life in any form would not be possible anywhere along the Southern seaboard for a century or two. Louisiana, Texas, Florida and Alabama were going to lose all their beaches to tar balls and gunk. The Carolinas were in dire danger. Maybe even the Outer Banks would be destroyed.
This was the mother of disasters. BP was the biggest villain in "The History of the World, Part III." Fishing was a thing of the past. Oysters and shrimp and crabs would henceforth be found only in museums. Pelicans would use their beaks for oil storage facilities.
The Gulf states would be declared disaster sites. Jobs in the fishing and shrimping industries would cease to exist. President Barack Obama was declaring emergencies up and down the coast. Perhaps the children of the residents of the Gulf area would someday see clean beaches again. But maybe not. Life in that area was changed forever.
But that was yesterday. Today everything is better. Much of the oil that was going to ruin the world has suddenly evaporated. There are few signs of damage to the ocean life. The leak has been stopped. Beaches are still pristine. Me, I'm planning on a Gulf Coast vacation next month. I want to see the results of a modern-day miracle.
I don't mean to be facetious here, but this whole escapade is indicative of what the American public goes through these days. We're fed hyped-up reports from experts who should know better - and we believe it when we should know better.
Yes, I know there was an oil spill. And yes, I know the potential for disaster was great. We fell for the whole scenario hook, line and sinker. We agonized as we saw the oil-drenched pelicans and cringed when the reporters held up those ugly little tar balls. We wondered how on earth those poor Gulf Coast residents were going to earn their livings if we couldn't go to Red Lobster and help support them.
Now we just feel a little, well, gullible. Big Brother snookered us again.
Seriously, I'm hoping that the news from the Gulf continues to be good. But how can we be sure? Can we trust the reports we're getting that all is under control? Who knows? Frankly, I find it hard to believe anything anymore.
We're told that the eight or 12 wars that we're continually involved in are going well. We're winning, they say. But the next day we're told that there have been setbacks. Instead of bringing our troops home, we're going to ship them to some other place that we can't even find on a map.
There are wars and rumors of wars, and we're fighting them all. Our kids are dying in countries whose names we can't even spell, dodging bullets from people they aren't allowed to shoot at. Come on, kids. Learn how to duck and turn the other cheek. You can't fire back at that guy because, look, he isn't wearing a uniform. Hey, he may just have launched a grenade at you and your buddies, but wait a minute - he may just be an innocent civilian. Don't you dare say anything naughty to him. Don't you understand this racial profiling stuff?
So one day we're winning and the next we're losing, and sometimes we don't even seem to know who our enemies are. Maybe we don't, but at least there are times these days when we get a hint.
We have met our enemy, and he is us. Until we get to the point that we can at least believe what we're being told by those we've elected, we're in for more and more problems. Yeah, the oil leak is fixed. Until it starts again. And the war is over. Until they're blowing us up again.
Contact Howard Ward at (910) 867-6493 or (910) 690-2211, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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