Feathered Bastard

Arizona Republic Columnist E.J. Montini's Dull-Witted Sympathy for the Redflex Speed Cameras

Ipso schmucko can't fathom why the hoi polloi hate the photo enforcement cameras.

The Arizona Republic's smug, smarmy scribbler E.J. Montini is clueless (yet, again) as to why so many of the Republic's online readers are so pissed off by the Department of Public Safety's photo enforcement cameras. You can almost envision Montini in the powdered wig of a Georgian gentleman, aghast that the peasants are revolting as he takes another snort from his lacquered snuff box.

Why, Montini kvetches in his latest column, the little people are even calling this 26 year-old rough Travis Townsend a "hero" after the fellow took a pickax to one of the instruments of their oppression. Some Repugnant readers are comparing it to the Boston Tea Party. And others are advocating further violence against inanimate objects, perhaps using paint ball guns or even actual firearms. (Horrors!) As a result, Montini's suffering from a case of the vapors.

"Is that what we've come to?" sniffed the quite likely overpaid scribe. "Speed limits are now equivalent to being `raped and pillaged' by government? Exactly how spoiled are we?"

"Spoiled"? You've got to wonder about the disconnect between pompous pen wielders like Montini and real life when the elitist dope can't figure out why drivers are annoyed by stationary photo enforcement zones and vans all up and down our freeways. Last night, as I dove home on the 51, camera flashes were going off so frequently it was like a freakin' strobe light. Each one of those flashes meant another $181 ticket for DPS and its partner in crime, Aussie firm Redflex.

People are ticked, and rightfully so. I haven't gotten one of these tickets yet, but I know it's only a matter of time. Most all of us will eventually have to pay what amounts to a $181 driving tax. I'm guessing Montini can afford the $181. What do they pay you over there to knock off a couple of columns a week, E.J., six figures, or close? No wonder you can't figure out why some people regard the pickax dood to be a hero.    

"These are frustrating times," opines Montini. "The economy is in the tank. We're worried about our jobs, our future. The response to the new speed cameras is a lot like the reaction we see on the highway when an otherwise intelligent, reasonable person is cut off by a reckless driver."

Bzzzt. Wrong again, E.J. The reaction to the speed cameras, whether we're talking about the Post-it Note ninjas, or the pickax patrol, is something refreshing and rare in our democracy: A genuine, grassroots rebellion against the heavy hand of the state. If you weren't part of a dying institution, maybe you'd get it, boyo.