Friday, June 28, 2013

Here we go again. . ..

A newly minted member of Congress, Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.), is testing his congressional wings by proposing that red light and speed cameras in D.C. be banned. Hmmm -- do you think he might be a speeder and red-light-runner?

Congress has already dumped our voter-approved gun control laws. Now this. There are sound reasons why D.C. needs it’s traffic laws and controls. They were not put in place simply to annoy members of Congress.

Maybe Rep. Bentivolio doesn’t mind speeders and red-light-runners in Michigan. Washington, D.C., however, is a small area with heavy pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Sometimes visitors from other countries look the wrong way when crossing streets or forget that green means go and red means stop.

This proposal is just one more arrogant attempt to throw weight around. D.C. residents did not elect Rep. Bentivolio therefore he needs to butt-out of local matters. Besides, how would his proposal help his constituents -- IN MICHIGAN?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Stuck in the Mud

Yesterday a MD-90 passenger jet got stuck in the mud while attempting take-off from Washington National Airport*.  I'm sure it was no fun for the passengers and crew and, thankfully, no one was injured.  Nevertheless, it seemed like a perfect analogy for what's going on a few miles away up on Capitol Hill.

Congress continues to argue over legislation addressing important, national issues. This must be very frustrating for members who understand what collaboration and compromise mean.  Without term limits, members of Congress must always push for the interests of their constituencies to help ensure they will be re-elected.  Can't say that I blame them; the perks for members of Congress are huge and well beyond the reach of an average American.  And -- they are all paid for by you and me.

Mud-slinging is nothing new in D.C.  There's always plenty to go around and plenty of people willing to sling it, even if it means endangering American lives and increasing world tensions.  Frankly, I'd like to sling some mud on one Edward Snowden.  I value my privacy and accept that, in today's world, some of it must be sacrificed to help ensure my safety.  To deliberately reveal national secrets is nothing short of treason.

*I refuse to add Reagan to our airport's name.  Does no one remember when he fired all the air traffic controllers?!  Besides, the late president's name is plastered on enough edifices as it is.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Six New Blood Brothers and Sisters

Early this Spring, I had total hip replacement surgery. It has been a resounding success -- after some glitches got worked out.

Among several things I had not expected was the necessity for six blood transfusions; four during the surgery and two more about two weeks afterwards. I remember signing papers giving my doctor permission to transfuse blood, but I never dreamed I would need any and certainly not that much.

The only time I was aware of getting donated blood was when my doctor put me back in the hospital after two weeks in a rehab center. It was a huge surprise and a moving experience watching someone else’s blood flowing through clear tubing into a vein in my hand. To think that people I will probably never know would donate their very lifeblood to a stranger made me feel so grateful.

When I worked for the local American Red Cross chapter, it was customary but not required to donate. Blood supplies run dangerously low during summertime and holidays when regular donors take vacations.  Staff members knew this and made a point of donating during those times.

Even though I reacted (fainting, low blood pressure) every time I donated, I gave eight pints before the nurses told me not to give any more. Truthfully I was not totally broken-hearted because I hated those big ole needles. Still, I feel bad that I can’t help people who need my type A+ blood, especially now.

So . . .. on the off-chance that any of the donors who helped restore my health read this -- many, many thanks. We have a connection I will always cherish.