Prior to the president’s speech last week, Brian Williams reported statistics that I believe bodes worse for our freedom and national security than anything we might anticipate from the Middle East caldron of continuous calamity.

Williams’ outlined the widening disparity between the haves and have-nots. Apparently, 20 percent of our wealth was “earned” by the top 1 percent. A chilling statistic. But wealthy folks aren’t the problem. Greedy folks are.

I’m a few shekels short of “wealthy,” but I am a capitalist. I believe in hard work, ingenuity, risk — and new ideas that enhance our lives. But I’m uneasy about robotics rapidly replacing a human workforce. I’m downright frightened by Google’s new eyeglasses, enabling users to access Facebook — on their face. Where does this techno-insanity end?

Beyond this economic disparity, the ever-evaporating middle class, oft-dubbed America’s “backbone,” is being picked clean by scavengers. Like insidious credit card commercials asking: “What’s in your wallet?” — so they can pick it. That’s what’s destroying America: extortion — Wall Street racketeering.

We’ve become a society content to sit in front of computers accessing the inane and purchasing the unnecessary on credit. We’ve funded wars in much the same manner. The greatest threat to our cherished way of life (to include our roads, bridges and schools) is indeed ourselves.

Talking heads dissect every word and nuance of the president’s speech for us. But it’s not “complex” or “complicated.” Once again, we’re attempting to solve problems by bombing our way toward satisfactory solutions. Like in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan. I ask again, where does this insanity end?

Those 1,400 souls who perished from dreadful chemical weapons? When we start dropping bombs, film those body bags. Assad and his crew won’t be in them.

Most likely, it will be Syria’s middle class and poor.

Buddy Doyle, Gardiner