For a glimpse into the history of what Independence Day is about, click here to view the U.S. Declaration of Independence.
My general sense about things right now is that the Fourth has been upstaged by the state of the economy and the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Right about now somebody’s saying, “Oh, you and your gloom and doom. Can’t you give it a break? Shut up and just watch the fireworks.”
Sorry, I’m not cut out that way.
It’s cliché to say the economy is in shambles, but I don’t know what else to say. Unemployment and underemployment figures are cooked to be kept low. The stock market is a poor indicator of reality. And what are we not hearing about the struggles of state and municipal governments with this new fiscal year?
As for the oil volcano in the Gulf, I’m not depressed or losing sleep over it, but it’s not getting due consideration. Sure, the media talks about it because it’s magnitude makes it unavoidable. But it seems people are more interested in the World Cup and the latest vampire movie. How much longer will that mentality prevail before reality sets in?
Here’s a bit of irony to consider. A recent headline says, “Millions of Vaccine Doses to be Burned.” That’s in reference to some 40 million doses of expired swine flu vaccine, and some 30 million more that will expire soon. That represents about 43% of the total vaccines produced for the U.S. at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Isn’t it ironic that all the hype about swine flu came to practically nothing compared to the ongoing oil gusher? This genetic hybrid flu, likely concocted in a lab, proved no worse than the normal seasonal flu. The trumped up swine flu scare is a whisper of a shadow compared to the real disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
But it’s worth noting that swine flu and the BP debacle have a few things in common. Both have provoked more questions than answers. Cover up hides the truth and leads to wild speculation. Both offer significant opportunities for power grabbing and control of the masses.
The difference is that, while swine flu may have been intended to cause displacement and elimination of part of the population, the oil disaster may accomplish it.
How many will be sickened and die from oil fumes? How many crops will be ruined by contaminants in rain coming off the Gulf? What will that do to our food supply?
What if cracking and heaving of the ocean floor causes a tsunami that wipes out Florida? One report I saw theorized the events in the Gulf could trigger another New Madrid earthquake like the one that caused the Mississippi River to flow backwards in 1812. The impact of both disasters at the same time staggers the imagination.
What if the oil disaster causes resettlement of tens of millions of Gulf states residents? It will make Katrina look petty in scope. Are we about to see a new Trail of Tears on a greater scale than American Indians could have imagined?
Where will people go? FEMA trailers? FEMA camps? Civilian expeditionary forces sent overseas to help our troops? Or worse?
Think it couldn’t happen? Boat people from Cambodia probably didn’t expect to go through what they experienced, until it happened. For quite some time now this hasn’t been the America we’ve been told it is.
We’re always faced with questions about what’s real and what’s mere guessing. But the oil volcano should motivate us to think the unthinkable like nothing else. It won’t fade away like the presumed Y2K threat just over ten years ago.
The rules we’ve played under will never be the same, and we won’t find out how much that’s true until it’s too late.
So enjoy the fireworks this weekend if you can. Try to remember what they really celebrate. Then get into survival mode and prepare to face greater forces that upstage all of that.