When the cold war ended, I was working for a NATO international organization in Europe. At that time most of us thought East-West relations would improve. NATO's primary mission had been successful. Unfortunately, General Smedley Butler was right. War is a racket.
First it was trillions spent on invasions and regime change in the Middle East. Now it's ramping up the threat from Russia, China and Iran. And Iran's rogue nuclear program? The IAEA says Iran is complying and I believe them. Remember Iraq? I trusted the U.N. Hans Blix, who said there were no WMDs in Iraq. He was right.
This warmongering is unnecessary. Now, Vice President Mike Pence is talking about dominating space. Why can't we just cooperate in space and use $200 billion of the defense budget to modernize our 1950s infrastructure.
The U.S. is on a dangerous path so let's not allow hyped threats to lead us into a real war.
New Port Richey
Pasco County government has unveiled its beautiful new website touting the Ridge Road Extension as the best thing since Custer’s Last Stand. The real disaster is the Ridge Road Extension is going nowhere except into Pasco’s version of Fantasyland.
Pasco County has failed since 1998 to convince the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Wildlife Service that we need the Ridge Road Extension. It’s the longest delayed project in their history. Pasco is over a year behind in providing required information to those federal departments, its environmental studies are outdated and will take years to re-do, the costs for a highway that few Pasco citizens will pay for but seldom, if ever, use have increased into close to $100 million for the first phase alone. Even if the permit is finally granted, the SOS Coalition will immediately file in federal court, suing, delaying the project for a minimum of a decade, if not killing the zombie highway to nowhere forever.
But enjoy this pretty website. You’re paying for it, and for the blatant lie of hurricane evacuation routes — not needed.
New Port Richey
Over 8 years ago, all the Gulf Coast states were affected by the BP-Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the largest in U.S history. Over 4.19 million barrels spewed into the Gulf. Before the well was sealed, an oil slick extended over thousands of square miles in the Gulf and 1,100 miles of shoreline. It was located over 5,000 feet beneath the water’s surface and how much oil remains on the sea floor and its effect on sea life and ecosystem is unknown.
Notably, breeding white pelicans migrating to Minnesota produced eggs (also found in Iowa and Illinois) containing compounds traceable to the BP-Deepwater spill.
Sadly, it’s taken years to compensate those in the hospitality and fishing industries who felt the economic impact, and many lost their livelihoods during that time. The Gulf Coast has rebounded and is once again a haven for those visiting to enjoy the natural and manmade amenities it has to offer. This can only be sustained as long as offshore drilling is banned in the Gulf.