Navigating Through The Storms: "I'm Losing My Sense Of Outrage"
Several weeks ago I had to drive west on the Pennsylvania Turnpike to pick up my son after his sophomore year at Penn State. I’ve made this trip a dozen times over the last few years, since this is my second son attending Penn State, with a third starting in the Fall. It’s a tedious, boring, protracted, four hour trek through the rural countryside of the Keystone State. During these trips my mind wanders, making connections between the landscape and the pressing issues facing the world. I can’t help but get lost in my thoughts as the miles accumulate like dollars on the national debt clock.
More often than not I end up making the trip in the midst of bad weather. And this time was no different. The Pennsylvania Turnpike is a meandering, decades old, dangerous, mostly two lane highway for most of its 360 mile span. Large swaths of the decaying interstate are under construction, as the narrative about lack of infrastructure spending is proven false by visual proof along the highways and byways of America.
The real infrastructure crisis is below ground in urban shitholes where 100 year old water and sewer pipes fail on a regular basis, but bankrupt Democrat politicians divert their steadily declining tax revenues to bloated pensions of government lackeys. Infrastructure spending is only interesting to politicians if they can name it after themselves and have a ribbon cutting ceremony. Replacing water and sewer pipes before they explode isn’t sexy, so it won’t be done.
A winding two lane highway, with a speed limits of 70 mph, and jam-packed with 18 wheelers driven by sometimes sleepy and often aggressive truckers already leads to a pressure packed few hours. Add rain to the mixture and you ratchet up the blood pressure.
Ramp that up to torrential downpours and heavy fog and you’ve got white knuckles, strained neck muscles and an occasional prayer regarding that big rig crawling up your ass.
I was lucky enough to be faced with torrential rains and fog for the first two hours of the trip. I was tense, cautious, concerned and careful.