Going down the opinionated road

Commentary

The late, legendary Sports Editor Larry Felser of The Buffalo News would often lead his column with the words “It’s one of those opinionated days,” and so it is for me today.

¯ I sometimes wonder about the New York state Department of Transportation. For several years now it has been attempting to foist a roundabout on this area as a panacea for the large number of accidents occurring at Routes 20 and 60 caused, they say by motorists attempting to turn into the stores, and fast-food establishments in the area.

Now the department refuses to lower the speed limit for Dennison Road, which has been the site numerous accidents. It is a typical country road that meanders along with virtually no shoulders and no place to maneuver or park in an emergency. The state Transportation Department doesn’t think lowering the speed limit is necessary on Dennison Road because as their letter states, “the majority of motorists drive at a speed which they perceive to be responsible and prudent for existing conditions.” That makes me wonder what roads they drive on. The letter goes on in typical Albany bureaucratic gobilty-gook to say basically that you can’t tell people what to do because they won’t do it and if you do, things will only get worse.

This situation reminds me of an intersection in my hometown in eastern New York where my father as village attorney and my brother after him in the same position worked for nearly 30 years to get a stoplight at an intersection where many accidents, some fatal and others with serious injuries, occurred. Finally, after years of effort the Department of Transportation grudgingly installed a traffic light. So, I would advise Linda Kingsley and other folks on Dennison Road not to give up the fight to get the speed limit lowered because even the Department of Transportation can sometimes be made to see reason.

¯ While “coup d’etat” is a word we usually associate with “Banana Republics,” it almost happened here. The last two years represent the closest thing to a “coup d’etat” that has ever occurred in our nation. I mean, of course, the plot to remove the legally elected president of the United States, Donald Trump. Sure, he didn’t win the popular vote but he won in the Electoral College which the Founding Fathers in their wisdom made part of our Constitution. The Electoral College plays a vital role because each state essentially has its own “Presidential” election ensuring that states with smaller populations still matter in presidential elections because it forces candidates to mount a national campaign.

Instigated by Democrats, both in and out of the Obama administration, who suffered from “sour grapes,” abetted by renegade FBI employees, politicians of all stripes and parties, and with lies presented as “real news” by the “mainline” print and electronic media the “coup d’etat” took on a life of its own. It continues to be driven by a cast of sorry characters that includes several House committee chairpersons who give new meaning to the phrase “political hack” and who resent that an outsider, and a business man no less, invaded “their” Washington, D.C.

¯ Did you hear that Kate Smith’s moving version of God Bless America is no longer played by the New York Yankees during the seventh inning stretch or at Philadelphia Flyers games or that the Flyers have removed a statue of the lady from outside of the Wells Fargo Center?

Why, you ask? Well, nearly 90 years ago she recorded two songs with lyrics that would now be considered racist. It was obviously a different time in the early 1930s. We’ve come a long way since then and we can’t always judge earlier times using our own standards. Human history changes and evolves and we need a sense of that history. Based on standards 90 years from now, how will we be seen?

By the way, the sanctimonious Yankees were one of the last Major League teams to integrate when they signed Elston Howard in 1955. Perhaps their current action was driven by guilt.

¯ Finally, as a non-gun owning member of the NRA, I would advise the leaders of our organization to settle their internal differences, clean up the business end and concentrate on the long-standing purpose of the organization to promote gun safety and protect our Second Amendment rights. Remember that two wolves in sheep’s clothing, posing as defenders of freedom, our anti-Second Amendment governor and New York state attorney general who both want to destroy the NRA and limit individual freedom in the process.

With a tip of my Mets cap to the late Larry Felser, those are my opinions.

Thomas Kirkpatrick Sr. is a Silver Creek resident. Send comments to editorial@observertoday.com

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