As July 4th approaches it is an appropriate time to give some serious thought to the state of our great country…THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
I do not know about you, but I am very concerned and nightly I find myself tossing and turning trying to figure out just how we are going to survive and sustain the American Way of Life. Where do we start in approaching our problems is a good question that requires action.
Let’s start with the current economic disaster facing every citizen with the artificially inflated price of oil at $143.00 per barrel. No matter where you live in the USA the price of gasoline is negatively influencing every segment of our daily lives. This problem has not just developed, but has been building for several years. Our Congressional leaders have long neglected their obligation to their constituents and have repeatedly failed to act responsibility to begin solving the energy crisis.
Prior to my retirement after more than forty years in the broadcasting industry, I was required to go to work every day in order to receive my pay check. That same requirement clearly does not apply to our elected officials in Congress because they only work about 2 ½ days per week when Congress is in session. Clinton, Obama and McCain have rarely appeared in the Senate for months, because they have been campaigning and raising money for their possible election. However, they still collect their full salary and benefits. Consider the other early candidates who also are elected officials in the House or Senate and did not work for months at their “jobs” while they ran unsuccessful campaigns. What did that cost the taxpayers and what could have been accomplished had they been working?
Consider all the lost days you and I paid these elected officials for work they never did and subtract that from the only 2 ½ days a week Congress was in session when not out on Easter break, December break, August (summer) break among other smaller breaks. Are we the American taxpayers total fools or do we just not care anymore about the future of our country. I am beginning to think the latter is true, because only a small percentage of the electorate even goes to the polls.
It is The Commander’s opinion that the media shares in responsibly for many of our current problems, and when you add voter apathy you have an equation that spells disaster. I know the media from the inside and it has changed significantly since the mid 1950’s when single family ownership held the licenses in their hometown markets and dominant individual corporate leadership existed at the three major networks. Then explosive expansion of video channels, radio frequencies, cable outlets, satellite radio, I-pods, cell phones, music videos, etc. all came forward when big financial institutions and investment bankers became involved and forced unrealistic financial goals upon each business. Individual families and strong authoritative network leaders frequently acted in favor of quality and what was good for the public opposed to gouging the public for every possible penny of profit. That is what drives media today and what has brought media pressures to influence the election process.
Within the past week the price of gasoline in my community jumped 12 cents per gallon over the weekend and what did our all-knowing Congress do? They went home on recess for the 4th of July. They flew home dumping a huge carbon imprint on our skies, so they could take more earmark money to the home towns and raise more dollars for their reelection campaigns. Just consider how many gallons of jet fuel were consumed for their flights out of Washington to their local districts? What they failed to do again is address our immediate need to start coming to terms with the energy crisis.
I really believe that our Congressional leaders are so desperate to make President George Bush look bad that they are willingly to bring economic hardships upon the entire country. Unfortunately, President Bush does not need Congress to make him look any worse than he already does, but Congress is waiting till there is an election and then they will take the credit for a solution at that time.
There is no easy answer to our current energy problems, but we cannot permit the Middle Eastern dictatorships to ruin the USA, and we are permitting this to occur by inaction and pure political spite. Drilling for oil in ANWR, off shore, shale in our western states, wind farms, geothermal, solar, clean coal, hydrogen and nuclear must all be considered and developed. We all must sacrifice and get off the “Not in by back yard” mentality. Remember, we are the country that within a few years developed for good or bad the atomic bomb that saved hundreds of thousands of lives in World War ll, and we are the same country that sent a man to the moon, so we are certainly capable of solving our energy problem.
Why is our State Department still sending huge sums of financial aid to many of these oil producing countries who are trying to destroy our economy? When we attain energy independence, and we will, I predict, as I have in earlier essays, portions of the Middle East and countries like Nigeria and/or Venezuela could and should collapse economically, because of their corrupt leadership.
There is still time to act, but you have to get off your back side; write, call or email your Senators and Representatives and go to the polls in November. It is time to vote the do nothing political individuals out of Congress and be especially careful who you elect as our next President. You and I are going to have to live with the consequences of the next election and the impact it will have on the Supreme Court’s rulings in the future. You owe your children and the veterans who gave their lives for your freedom to act responsibly. It is time the electorate stands up and demands accountability and action like our Founding Fathers did in 1776. You and I will probably survive our short term hardships, but will our children?