Bob's Links and Rants

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Tuesday, October 22, 2002

According to Arianna Huffington, Scott Burns, co-creator of the "Got Milk?" campaign, has prepared two ad scripts that parody the "I fund terrorism" anti-drug ads: The first one feels like an old Slim Fast commercial. Instead of "I lost 50 pounds in two weeks" the ad cuts to different people in their SUVs: "I gassed 40,000 Kurds," "I helped hijack an airplane," "I helped blow up a nightclub," and then in unison: "We did it all by driving to work in our SUVs."

The second, which opens on a man at a gas station, features a cute kid's voice-over throughout: "This is George." Then we see a close up of a gas pump. "This is the gas George buys for his car." Next we see a guy in a suit. "This is the oil company executive who makes money on the gas George buys." Close up on Al-Qaeda training film footage: "This is the terrorist organization supported by money from the country where the oil company does business. " It's followed by footage of 9/11: "We all know what this is." And it closes on a wide shot of bumper to bumper traffic: "The biggest weapon of mass destruction is parked in your driveway."

I think that raising the federal gasoline tax is the most straightforward way to break our addiction. This letter to the NY Times from a fellow Michigander offers an interesting approach:

To the editor:
Thomas L. Friedman ("Drilling for Freedom," column, Oct. 20) convincingly explains that Middle East tyrannies will end when their oil revenues decline. The United States can help this happen by consuming less fuel.

The only way the United States can reduce fuel use is to increase the fuel tax. Adding a nickel per gallon every month until the United States buys its last barrel of imported oil would cause no more than minor disruption of the economy. Yet fuel use would decline almost immediately.

Our political process refuses to discuss a tax increase, the only measure that can work. We are like a 300-pound patient asking a doctor how to lose weight but insisting that the answer must not mention eating or exercise.
Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Oct. 20, 2002

Leonard must be really popular with his neighbors, since Bloomfield Hills is home to many very wealthy auto execs.