Villagers With Pitchforks

The flaming torches were delayed in transit, sorry.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

The Secret Service: Defenders of the Currency

Or: Homeland Insecurity

It's ironic that there were three bank robberies in Davenport, Iowa yesterday while Kerry and the Shrub were there campaigning. We'll begin our coverage with this headline from WQAD TV, which has a map for those of you playing the home game.

Naturally, there was extra media coverage of those robberies.
Though security was heavy for the two campaign events, [Davenport Police Lt.] Gano said police met their normal patrol demands by working officers overtime.

"We did not shortchange the city with patrols," he said.
- CNN
No, just with overworked police. WHBF TV asks the obvious question:
The question on everyone's mind: Did the robbers hit on Wednesday morning because they thought the police would be distracted by the political events in Davenport?

"That would be speculation on our part," said Sgt. McKee. "It is certainly ironic but I wouldn't want to speculate."
However opportunistic these robberies were, there's more:
Police don't know if these three bank robberies were connected with one another or if any of them are tied to the recent string of holdups but they say it's quite a coincidence that each of the robberies happened at approximately the same time.
- WHBF Channel 4 news
And that's fine. The police really aren't supposed to speculate in public. That's my job.
A string of robberies, several timed to the campaign stops. I'd say, except for the one that got caught yesterday, there are some fairly clever monkeys robbing banks in Davenport.

I won't deny the fact that Presidents and candidates need protection. But it goes too far, too often. Case in point: me. I work near Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, and whenever Bush is around, there's a good chance I'll be one of many people stuck in a traffic jam. Bill Clinton immobilized half of the metro area on the spur of the moment once - he was here for something-or-other at Luke Air Force Base out on the West side of Phoenix. Luke can handle big planes, so Air Force One landed there. Barry Goldwater was in the hospital in central Phoenix. Clinton decided to drop in. Pandemonium as I-10 was closed with no warning at rush hour.

I think the next time I have to make a tough decision in a Presidential election (maybe next time), one of my factors, all else being equal, will be this: I'll vote for the candidate who will vacation farthest away from me.

Of course, if I have to choose a candidate on that basis, either a miracle or a disaster will have occurred.

A miracle: Either person can do the job, their differences are minor, and their advisors don't scare me. This is how I voted in 2000: Scariest advisors (Bush's keepers) lost my vote.

A disaster: Both teams scare and depress me. An igloo in the Yukon looks like a good place to live for a few years.

Anyway: Here's to the overworked police in Davenport. May you catch your bank robbers soon, and may you not be beset by politicians for years to come.

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