In an old Saturday Night Live sketch, a rugged frontiersman named “Johnny Canal” travels to the White House in 1820 to pitch his idea of connecting every city and town in the country by an elaborate system of canals.  A skeptical aide to the President (played by Jon Lovitz) points out that Mr. Canal’s dream is “redundant” and “utterly ridiculous” because most of the U.S. was already connected by railroads.