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[Fwd: Fw: Arianna's Latest Column]

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  • Richard Risemberg
    ... Subject: Fw: Arianna s Latest Column Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 15:37:13 -0700 From: empirebuilder To: Richard Risemberg
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 9 1:17 PM
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      -------- Original Message --------
      Subject: Fw: Arianna's Latest Column
      Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 15:37:13 -0700
      From: "empirebuilder" <empirebuilder@...>
      To: "Richard Risemberg" <rickrise@...>

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Arianna Huffington <mailto:arianna@...>
      To: empirebuilder <mailto:empirebuilder@...>
      Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 3:29 PM
      Subject: Re: Arianna's Latest Column

      You may.

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: empirebuilder <mailto:empirebuilder@...>
      To: arianna@... <mailto:arianna@...>
      Cc: Richard Risemberg <mailto:rickrise@...>
      Sent: Monday, October 21, 2002 4:48 PM
      Subject: Re: Arianna's Latest Column

      may we repost this article at www.newcolonist.com
      <http://www.newcolonist.com>? Eric Miller

      Got Oil?

      By Arianna Huffington

      The Bush team's ridiculous and wildly inflammatory anti-drug ads
      are still running in heavy rotation. You know the ads I'm talking
      about -- the ones where innocent-looking, middle-class teens
      admit their culpability for the consequences of the drug trade.
      "I helped blow up buildings," says one doe-eyed youth.

      So if that is legitimate logic, and our president says that it
      is, I wonder if we might turn the tables on him by starting a
      little ad campaign of our own to sabotage another misguided Bush
      campaign: the War on Conservation.

      The thought occurred to me after the startling announcement that
      the administration was taking precious time off from an actual,
      necessary war -- the one on terrorism -- to sue the state of
      California for daring to require that carmakers put more
      energy-efficient models on the road.

      Turning the letter of the Federal Clean Air act against its clear
      intent, Department of Justice lawyers lined up on behalf of the
      administration's friends in the hydrocarbon-loving
      auto-manufacturing industry and argued that as long as
      California's cars are in compliance with the lax Federal
      standard, the state cannot impose a tougher one. For those
      keeping score, the Bush administration is in favor of states'
      rights when the states want to weaken federal safety standards of
      any kind, and against states' rights when the states want
      stronger measures.

      So how about using the same shock-value tactics the
      administration uses in the drug war to confront the public with
      the ultimate -- and much more linearly linked -- consequences of
      their energy wastefulness? Imagine a soccer mom in a Ford
      Excursion (11 mpg city, 15 mpg highway) saying, "I'm building a
      nuclear bomb for Saddam Hussein." Or a mob of solo drivers
      toodling down the freeway at 75 mph shouting in unison, "We're
      buying weapons that will kill American soldiers, marines, and
      sailors! Yahoo!"

      It's not just a fantasy. Last week, talking to my friend Scott
      Burns, co-creator of the "Got Milk?" campaign, I was delighted to
      hear that he already had two ad scripts ready to go. 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." Pretty effective.

      Can the administration seriously deny that oil dollars do,
      actually, finance a spreading slick of evil in the world today?
      In Iraq, oil money has kept Saddam's repressive regime afloat
      even in the midst of tough UN sanctions. According to a report
      just released by the CIA, Saddam has been spending his oil money
      on conventional arms and weapons of mass destruction, while
      starving and torturing his own people.

      In Saudi Arabia, our second largest foreign supplier of oil, the
      money you spend at the pump over here pays for a feudal monarchy
      that gorges itself on excess while bankrolling terrorist mischief
      abroad with its support of suicide bombers.

      Even our close ally Kuwait, our eleventh largest oil supplier,
      manifests an ambivalence toward America that, if you accept the
      Bush administration's drug-war arguments about the validity of
      remote effects, resulted in this month's assassination of an
      American Marine on military exercises. Thank you, Exxon.

      Would it be so painful for us to slow down the intravenous drip
      of oil that keeps these hideously anti-American regimes alive?
      There are car companies with electric and hybrid cars already on
      the market. And a little pressure on our wasteful ways could
      unleash a new wave of good old American inventiveness.

      But instead of applying the marketing skills it uses for its
      wrong-headed drug war to the eminently worthwhile cause of saving
      energy, Bush, Inc. has sided with the Enrons of the world to
      stifle energy-saving technology and keep America in an
      artificially prolonged state of dependence.

      Of course, waiting for the Bush administration to get religion on
      energy conservation would be about as fruitful as waiting for
      Saddam to welcome U.S. inspectors to his palaces. It ain't gonna
      happen. Unless, that is, the public makes it happen. Anyone
      willing to pay for a people's ad campaign to jolt our leaders
      into reality?

      If you have any questions or comments, please contact me
      at arianna@... <mailto:arianna@...>.

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      Richard Risemberg

      "Hope cannot be said to exist, nor can it be said not to exist. It is
      just like the roads across the earth. For actually there were no roads
      to begin with, but when many people pass one way a road is made."

      Lu Hsun
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