Saturday, November 10, 2007

Darth Vader in Dutchess County

Phil sends along this angry missive to the Poughkeepsie Journal, which amused me:
Subject: Dick Cheney's Traffic Jam

To the Editor:

I was surprised (but skeptical) when law enforcement officials predicted no significant traffic delays would result from Vice President Cheney’s recent visit, but I was mystified when they later reported that none had occurred. Apparently, the closure of the Taconic Parkway, north and south of Route 55, for twenty-five minutes during the Monday morning rush doesn’t qualify as a delay or an inconvenience. I beg to differ: I delivered my son to school fifteen minutes late and, judging from the active cell phones I saw in nearby cars, it appeared that many drivers were calling in to postpone or reschedule appointments at work. Had the state police announced the full extent of road closures in advance, motorists could have found alternate routes. This failure of notification is regrettable in itself, but it seems both absurd and disingenuous to pretend that an extensive backup on the county’s largest north/south artery simply didn’t occur. One has come to expect such denials of reality from the Bush/Cheney administration, but surely the state police need not share in such fictions. If, in the future, Mr. Cheney wants to stalk farm-raised pheasants (native to China, not North America) on an enclosed game preserve in Dutchess County, one can only hope that he will do so on a weekend. At present, two wars, skyrocketing energy costs, a falling dollar, and a deadlocked Congress seem insufficiently compelling to keep him in Washington during the work week.

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