Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Beautiful Dreamer: the President's speech

The Dream
(by R.P.Edwards)

Here is my dream
Look through my eyes
Sunshine and flowers
With none to despise
Clean air and kittens
Windmills wave “Hi!”
As solar collectors
Catch rays from the sky
Yes, this is my dream
The diggers are gone
  There's no place for drillers
It's a fresh, cloudless dawn
And combustion?
 So little
So few
Just green flowing meadows
For me, and for you
Yes, this is my dream 
The world is our friend
Eternal fraternal
All joy, without end
So here, take my hand
And look through my eyes
See sunshine and flowers
With none…to despise

(Here's "my" dream)
In an unprecedented move the President, having begun his “comfort the nation” speech concerning the ongoing oil disaster in the Gulf, he, halfway through, pauses; and then says, “Turn off the teleprompters” and, having held up his hand for silence (his staff, at the unscripted action, had been wildly whispering admonitions) he then clasps hands and leans forward.  “My fellow Americans,” his expression, serious, and obviously…sincere. “My fellow Americans, let me lay aside, for the moment, my “mastery of the message” (as he speaks the phrase he brackets it with finger quotes) and simply tell you like it is.  Do you understand that the Deepwater Horizon oil platform was forty miles from shore; let me say that again; it was FORTY MILES from shore.  Let me put that in perspective.  Forty miles is roughly four times the distance to the horizon and, since it was so far out, BP had to go a mile down just to get to the bottom.  And, since the conditions down there are so hard to deal with; well…you can see the result.  So (he positions his still clasped hands just below his chin, his elbows on the table) what’s the real problem here? Big Oil mismanagement? Perhaps.  Safety short cuts? Probably.  But the real culprit here…is our environmental policy.  You see (the president leans back and places his arms on the waiting rests) my dream of ending our dependency on fossil fuels, is just that, a dream.  Even if we throw ourselves into the effort, it might take decades to even come close to meeting our energy needs.  So, since we must have energy to survive and, since so much of our supply comes from overseas; here’s the direction I’ve decided to take. Starting immediately I’ll be coordinating with Congress to loosen the crippling environmental regulations that prevent shallow water exploration and, naturally, the reserves at Anwar will be tapped along with the enormous oil-shale potential found in our Western states.  Also, I’ll be pushing for the building of one thousand nuclear power plants along with the encouragement for coal production to be increased.  And, as far as the crippling legislation known as “Cap n Trade;” well, that’s history.  My fellow Americans,” the president leans forward, bows his head for a few seconds (as if weighing his next sentence carefully) then, looking directly into the camera, “we are in the fight for our lives.  Frankly, we’re drowning.  And, as everyone knows, the deeper you are, the harder it is to reach the surface.  And, my fellow citizens, if we don’t reach the surface…we die.”

You know; I wasn’t even going to watch it.  Not that I have anything personal against the President; I don’t. And oh, he is a great orator. But, he and I--on so many issues-- don’t see eye to eye.  And frankly, I think “his” direction, is the wrong one.  So, I wasn’t going to listen.  But (sigh) since I have committed myself to be at least “somewhat” informed; I did. 

Ok, here’s the gist:  It was approximately eighteen minutes long.  He gave us a three point outline (must be the professor in him). 1. The Clean up.  2. Recovery and restoration.  And 3. Steps to be taken to make sure this doesn’t ever happen again.  It was the third part I found most interesting.  Here’s some snippets: “The time to embrace a clean energy future is now.  Now is the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission…Each of us has a part to play in a new future that will benefit all of us…but only if we accelerate that transition; only if we seize the moment.”

It was, again, the “dream,” but--and it’s so obvious--the way to the dream may very well kill us.  Sure, we all want to have clean energy.  But it’s a fantasy to think that we can maintain our industry (whatever’s left), our strength, our position of dominance, without fully exploiting the God-given resources we have under our feet and at our fingertips.  Understand, we’re already stretched to the limit; we’re already terribly dependent on the whim and ways of others; and if we try to drastically retool and redirect by using legislation like Cap-n-Trade, well, it’s nuts.

Here’s how the speech ended: The president said, with feeling, “Tonight, we pray for the courage; we pray for the people of the Gulf; and we pray that a hand may guide us through the storm towards a brighter Day.  Thank you.  God bless you.  And may God bless the United States of America.”  And I say, “Amen, Mr. President.”  I agree.  And, I believe God will indeed “guide us through the storm.” However, the Almighty’s definition of what the storm actually is…well, that might be quite different than the one in the Chief Executive‘s mind.

(with thanks to legendary songwriter, Stephen Collins Foster)

Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me,
Starlight and dewdrops are waiting for thee;
Sounds of the rude world, heard in the day,
Lull'd by the moonlight have all pass'd away!

That’s what I think.  How about you?  Click comments below…and say.

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