The War on Trucks | What Would Ward Churchill Say? | Your Grrrs

Blaming the Trucks

As floodwaters recede in New Orleans, Americans are once again Grrring the rising price of gasoline. And with gas averaging $3.25 per gallon for regular unleaded, it's understandable.

But where are the lines? Where is the shortage of gasoline? I keep hearing stories from people who say that their gas station ran out of gas, but I haven't seen it myself. It seems like every time I need gas, there's enough to fill my tank.

So why the soaring prices and what can be done to alleviate the commuter blues?

One argument I hear is that people with trucks, SUVs and Hummers should pay more money than folks who drive smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles, because the bigger vehicles consume more gas and create shortages.

While I will agree that suburban moms who drive Hummers as fashion statements should be hit with an Obliviot tax, the entire truck argument is absurd. If anything, trucks should be charged less for gasoline.

Think about it.

It will be convoys of trucks that will roll into the Gulf states to help rebuild after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. But that's only the most obvious (and recent) example.

Your house was built by contractors who used trucks to cart in those materials.

When your car breaks down on the side of the road? It's called a tow truck for a reason.

Retail outlets like Wal-Mart and Target are stocked daily not by fleets of Priuses, but by fleets of Macks and Peterbilts.

When a pipe bursts in your house, the plumber usually arrives in a pick-up truck or van.
When you need a new refrigerator, it's delivered by men who drive trucks.

When you have a heart attack or get into a car accident, the paramedics arrive in an ambulance that looks remarkably like a truck. When your house is on fire ...

OK, you get the picture.

Now I know that not everybody who drives a truck needs a truck for business. But remember, it's none of your business who drives what. Unless of course it's a suburban mom or the manicured Internet millionaire with a Hummer he uses for Starbucks runs, but that's just my opinion.

There are legitimate questions that need to be asked about the rising cost of fuel, but whether we should charge more for gas to truckers shouldn't be one of them.

What Would Ward Churchill Say?

Last week we had Hurricane Katrina. Next week marks the fourth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and I have to wonder: What does infamous left-wing zealot professor Ward Churchill think about the victims in the Gulf states?

He would probably say that the people of New Orleans and Biloxi got what they deserved. After all, there are economies in those cities, and based on his beliefs, all economy — American economy anyway — deserves to be destroyed.

Unless of course it's the economy of "higher" education, book sales, appearance fees and speeches he now benefits from, after rising to fame for saying that innocent Americans who perished in the Sept. 11 terror attacks got what they deserved.

In "100 People Who Are Screwing Up America" by Bernard Goldberg, Churchill makes No. 72 on the list. Goldberg quotes from Churchill's 9/11 essay: "The most that can honestly be said of those involved in Sept. 11 is that they finally responded in kind to some of what this country has dispensed to their people of a matter of course."

Of the innocent civilians who perished in the Twin Towers, Prof. Churchill had this to say: "Well, really, let's get a grip here shall we? True enough, they were civilians of sort. But innocent? Give me a break."

I guess Churchill would side with the looters who stole from all of those "sort of" but not innocent civilians who owned local businesses. Weren't they just responding in kind to business owners who charged money for their wares?

And the innocent folks whose electronic equipment was stolen? True enough, they were burglarized of sort. But innocent? Give me a break. After all, the criminals were only responding in kind to a society that has deprived them of the finer things in life.

And of the women who reportedly were raped? I guess they shouldn't have paraded around the Superdome in those wet, sweaty T-shirts. They too, must have gotten what they deserved.

Of course Churchill hasn't said any of that, and one would hope he wouldn't. But based on his 9/11 rant, it's impossible to know for sure.

By the way, Al Franken is No. 37 in Goldberg's book.

One of the funniest entries is that of Matt Kunitz, executive producer of "Fear Factor."

Goldberg named Kunitz No. 67 because, among other things, "Fear Factor" contestants "were put in a body bag, in a drawer in a morgue; the bag was filled with giant, hissing cockroaches," and others "were covered in hundreds of pounds of cow intestines, which they had to puncture with their mouths, suck out the liquid, fill a glass with it — then drink the juice."

Come on, Bernie! Don't you see the irony in Kunitz's cruel joke of a television show? That men and women — usually clad only in bathing suits — would subject themselves to such horrors just to be on television?

And the fact that people watch this show is an example of Obliviots in action.

It's not Kunitz who is screwing up America. It's the people who watch and the people who participated who are already screwed up.

It's the advertisers who bought commercial time during such a spectacle who are screwed up.

It's the parents who let their kids watch the show who are screwed up.

Kunitz was only seeing how far people would go. A lot further than he expected, I bet.

At any rate, read Goldberg's book. It's enlightening.

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Mike Straka is the director of operations and special projects for FOXNews.com, and covers entertainment and features on the Sunday program "FOX Magazine." He also writes the biweekly Grrr! Column and hosts "The Real Deal" video segments on FOXNews.com.