Friday, February 03, 2006

Tough love

After all that sneering I did about the State of the Union address, Tuesday night I worked late, missed "American Idol" completely and listened to most of the address while driving home. That's some sort of poetic justice.

As the latest phony to preside over the erosion of our freedom, President Bush was a tad irritating as he crowed about how we're going to export freedom to the world, not to mention ironic as he warned Iran it can't just do what it wants within its borders. Little bit of a mixed message, there.

But the mixiest message, I thought, had to do with the entire Middle East. At one point he talked about the exciting movement of freedom across that region and how America is going to stand there with our liberty-loving brothers and sisters. Later on, he talked about how our goal is by 2025, we will be free of our dependence on Middle East oil.

Feel free to check my logic, but as we zip around in electric cars and power them and our homes with electricity generated by clean nuclear energy (both good ideas, I should mention), what will the new democracies of the Middle East have to sell the biggest consumer nation on Earth? Unless a worldwide shortage of sand develops, it seems to me the message was "We're going to stand with you, but 20 years from now you're on your own."

My brain hasn't completely connected the dots here, but I'm thinking we're going to end up with a tobacco-like conundrum, where smoking is evil but the Vast Machine is dependent on revenues from ever-higher cigarette taxes. Unless ...!

What with the U.S. of A. being on a 30-year hangover from The China Syndrome and all, maybe the plans to build new nuclear plants here will never get off the ground because of our raving-mad fear of nuclear energy. Then we can be dependent all over again - on all that cheap nuclear-generated electricity being produced in free Iran ...

Yep, I think I'm onto something. Of course this is all presuming we don't bomb the Middle East into the Stone Age in our effort to set them free so we can be free of them. There's always the possibility, however remote it might seem, that our leaders aren't that clever.


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