Capt. Butterfield to the Bridge, Please

For a newspaper that self-identifies as "Progressive," the New York Times sure records any signs of actual progress with enormous heaping helpings of solemnity, doesn't it?

Michelle Ridgway, a marine ecologist who serves on the state science panel for cruise ships, watched as Alaska cruise ship traffic grew to about a million people a year and changed her hometown, Ketchikan. "The pulp mill closed and the place turned into Disneyland," she said.

As Orrin Judd quips in his headline linking to the above story, "Lucky Devils."

But my God, man! Just wait until the New York Times stumbles upon how centuries of increasingly larger oceangoing vessels pulling into the Hudson River has transformed Nieuw Amsterdam beyond all recognition. A once desolate and remote island, placid and sparsely populated, through the constant influx of both tourists and immigrants, has transmogrified itself into one giant, overpriced amusement park -- even down to its own Disney stores, including one right in the center of town -- a region named after the Gray Lady herself.

Any day now, the Times will be begging Mayor Bloomberg to sell the island back to the Indians -- though I'm not sure if they'd meet the standards of his environmental beliefs.

(In other words -- the Butterfield Effect strikes again.)

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