Saturday, November 14, 2009

Got this from a friend...

Who said I could blog it. Just a day in the life of a citizen, citizens.

I'm visiting a friend in Tucson, Arizona, this week and this morning we set out toward downtown for an arts event. We hadn't gone very far. We were stopped at a stoplight at an enormous intersection of a parkway and the I-10 freeway. The light turned green, but traffic didn't move.

Into the intersection, against the light, came screaming two motorcycle cops, lights and sirens blazing. They paused in the middle. Behind them came a police pickup truck, lights and sirens also blazing. And behind that another motorcycle cop, ditto. Then they all kept moving right along.

They weren't moving fast enough for it to be a chase, so my blood pressure started rising, wondering what sort of oriental poobah of a politician they were escorting.

... When into the interesection came a semi truck with its long, narrow cargo wrapped in a decorated tarp. And behind it came a smaller, but similarly tarped and decorated truck.

In big words on the side were: "Arizona's Gift: The Capitol Christmas Tree 2009."

Every year, it seems, some state is sucker lucky enough to be chosen to provide a tree as a "gift" to Congress. This year, it's an 85-foot blue spruce from the mountains of northern Arizona. (Yes, much to the surprise of people who've never been here, Arizona has extensively forested mountains.)

Geographically astute readers will recognize that Tucson is nowhere near northern Arizona and isn't on any logical route from northern Arizona to Washington, DC. Yep, you guessed it; the tree is being escorted around the state for 10 days at taxpayer expense before heading cross-country for another 10 days at further taxpayer expense.

And this just a day or two after a report noting that Arizona is second only to California in its state of governmental economic disaster.

The link above says the full convoy contains 12 vehicles, so we clearly didn't see every bit of the grandiose waste. But we did see this parade tie up traffic in an already traffic-snarled city and can only imagine what it's going to do (and how much it's going to cost in both dollars and annoyance) when it reaches Phoenix.

Your hard-earned dollars at work, Arizonans!

Oh well, at least we can say that not one of those cops, at that moment, was tasing anybody or accidentally setting anybody's house on fire by throwing a flash-bang onto a bed. Nor were they out committing highway robbery against innocent motorists, nor arresting anybody for contempt of cop.

So all in all, I guess it was a good day.

Also, in downtown Tucson, in the very center of the highest-rent area of banking and business, there's a big, impressive-but-friendly business with fancy logos, signage and super-slick posters in its big bronze-tinted windows. The "business" is "HUDNextDoor." And yes, it's the federal department of Housing and Urban development, selling itself like crazy. Exactly what it's selling, I don't want to guess. But it's clearly selling it at a high price to thee and me.

I see why you prefer to live as a hermit, off in places where your mind doesn't get bonked by things like this.


P.S. The Capitol Tree website claims "the tree is being privately funded and donations are being sought."

Uh huh. Yeah. I'll just bet private donors paid for all those siren-bearing cops and that no governmental money or force was used to tie up all that traffic or to pay for governor Jan Brewer's trip to DC to stand next to Nancy Pelosi while she lights the thing up.


C.M. said...

Joel where is your e-mail address. You used to have one. Now I can not find it.

Joel said...

I don't believe I've ever published my email address, C.M. And though I've no objection to you having it, I don't plan to. So I'm not sure how to resolve that.

C.M. said...

I understand completely, Could you Look out for a pm and or E-mail that I sent you from you know where? :)

Take care,