JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. – It was a shimmering day of irony in Jackson Hole. U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney gave a speech to dedicate an $18 million building in Grand Teton National Park — a park enabled, in part, by the philanthropy of the original oil baron, John D. Rockefeller.
Meanwhile, on the bicycle path leading to Cheney’s declared primary home, located in a rural subdivision called Teton Pines, a group of about 250 people walked, carrying anti-war signs, accusing Cheney of being the mastermind of a war on behalf of oil.
At the gate to the subdivision, reports the Jackson Hole News & Guide, the crowd gathered at the feet of a giant statue of Cheney holding a fishing rod in one hand and a spurting oil derrick in the other. Where a heart should have been was a black hole. The giant effigy towered over a tiny George W. Bush head wearing red devil horns and a blindfold over its eyes.
“Operation Iraqi Liberation,” sang an entertainer. “Tell me, what does that spell?”
“O-I-L,” responded the crowd, composed in age from elementary school to great-grandparents. It also included a Democratic state legislator from Jackson Hole.
The following week, the newspaper had eight letters on the subject. Most expressed disgust at the protest. “This was not a peace rally, like this group would lead you to believe. It was a hate rally. Nothing more, nothing less,” wrote Bill Scarlett, the local Republican Party chairman. Other similarly spoke of the “hatred and venom” and “over-the-line antics.”
As well, one letter-writer said a paid advertisement in the Jackson Hole Daily “accusing the vice president of personal responsibility for casualties in Iraq far exceeds the community norms for decency and reasoned, civil debate.”
Jumbo causes rumble
INVERMERE, B.C. – Yet more high-spirited comment is seen in the pages of the Invermere Valley Echo, where the contentious issue of the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort has been praised and vilified for a number of years.
Seemingly confident of the results, a good many of the locals have called for a local election. Renewing that call in a letter to the editor is Doug Anakin, who says that before the proposed ski area gets any more approvals, “it would be only proper and democratic that a vote be held, in the regional district and in the towns and villages of the valley…”
Elsewhere, the paper offers some evidence of the project getting further traction within the provincial government.