arm and a leg My colleague the “Vagabond Professor” has been saying there are three answers to all the problems in the world: global warming, Arab oil, and George Bush. I’m not sure, but I think maybe he is being ironic–he does have a satirical streak. Maybe he is saying those wacky liberals blame everything on one of those three things.

And maybe he’s right. Maybe there are some problems our president and our carbon-based economy did not cause.

Still, it strikes me as interesting that all three issues came together today, when our president went to Saudi Arabia to meet with the royalty there. I didn’t hear any reports that he asked them to stop flogging women who report crimes of violence against them, or in general asked them to open their society to democratic ideals. But then, I suppose such discussions are best conducted in private and not paraded in the press. The press did report that he asked them to produce more oil.

Didn’t our president tell us a year or so ago that we are addicted to foreign oil?

Is it just me, or do is strike anyone else as unseemly to send our president oversees with his hat in his hand, begging our supplier to go easy on us?

The war on terror is the first war in which our leaders have not asked the citizens to make a sacrifice. In world war II, children donated their rubber duckies, raincoats, and boots to the war effort. But we have been encouraged to keep driving our gas guzzlers to the shopping malls.

I understand the Saudi oil minister said, “we will increase supplies when the market warrants it.” What does that mean? A cartel is pretending to let the free market determine its policies? When oil reaches $200.00 per barrel, will the market have spoken?

When Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man–the transit authorities in southern cities knew African Americans were dependent on the bus system. They had no choice–what were they going to do, walk?

There is a fourth problem facing our nation: obesity. If we would begin walking all trips of less than a mile, we would improve our health, decrease our dependence on foreign oil, reduce our carbon output, and spare our president of humiliating groveling before the oil ministers of OPEC.

[For tips on improving your gas mileage, see the articles listed here.]