Nightmare On Pennsylvania Ave.
I was recovering from a bout of walking pneumonia the other night (brought on by the stress of deleting too many emails and forgetting which lies I told to whom) when I had the following vivid dream:
Scene 1: Wide shot of the White House, zoom in to bedroom with Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) asleep, alone, wearing big Hollywood eyeshades, and bedside clock shows 3 a.m. Muffled sounds from hallway, barely discernable words, “North Korea, Iran, credible threat, nuclear attack.” Loud banging at the door and a fearful male voice says, “Sorry to wake you, Madame President, but there’s a credible threat of imminent nuclear attack.” HRC (removing eyeshades), “Can’t be Iran or North Korea, Barry and I kept them from getting nukes.”
Scene 2: Secret Service agents burst into the room with the nuclear football, opening it, one says: “We must respond now, Madame Clinton. Enter the codes and instruct our military to respond.”
Scene 3: Tight shot of HRC’s face (use some congressional hearing footage). “I don’t recall,” she says. Secret Service guy with stress in his voice, “the codes, Ma’am, the codes.” Again, HRC responds (more footage), “I don’t remember. I don’t know.” Cough, cough.
Scene 4: Secret Service guy frantically yelling, “We’ve got to respond, Ma’am, or we’ll be wiped out.” Clinton responds (use infamous video), “You mean like, with a cloth.”
Scene 5: Bright white flash in window as Secret Service guy says, “My God, Ma’am, did you forget the codes?” HRC responds (use Benghazi video), “What difference, at this point in time, does it ma …” then another flash silhouettes mushroom cloud.
Scene 6: Use famous still shot of Bill Clinton pointing to camera and telling lie: “I did not have sex with that woman” as a female narrator’s voice says, “Now, who do you trust to get that 3 a.m. call.”
Then I awoke in a cold sweat, wondering if it was a nightmare or a premonition.
Taking Sides With Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, has been criticized as being unpatriotic for refusing to stand during the national anthem prior to an NFL game as a protest to the injustices he sees around him.
I am proud of the good we do as a country but am keenly aware that we are far from perfect and have done far too little to correct the pain and ills of those among us who suffer mightily as a result of inaction and indifference at best and prejudice and hatred at worst. Democracy is a work in progress and we need to be vigilant to insure that America stays the course and lives up to the responsibilities to use our abundance and freedom to benefit others.
As one who served as a US Army medic in the 1960s, I stand with the comments of Brandon Friedman, a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who met with Colin Kaepernick and said afterward, “Those of us who’ve worked in the business of protecting and defending the Constitution don’t get to decide how those we defend exercise their rights. They have them and that should be good enough for us.”
Saying No to Lake Brandt Rezoning
There is a proposed commercial development that will be plopped along Lake Brandt Road in front of Jesse Wharton Elementary School continuing toward Lake Brandt. This proposal requires city annexation and rezoning from residential to commercial. The area is mixed city and county with homes that frame the development on three sides. The established residential neighborhood surrounding the area is opposed and has no official representation since it is in the county.
The Zoning Commission heard the case earlier in August. Those in opposition were told they couldn’t just oppose the development, no matter how strong a rationale. Alternatives needed to be given, we just couldn’t say no. The vote was 5 to 3 to support the request for rezoning. When did neighborhoods have to become planners, developers, data collectors and fundraisers in order to oppose development?
There are no public officials to represent the neighborhood before the City Council on Sept. 20. The neighborhood has organized, hired a lawyer, started an informational campaign and is having to determine alternatives to the proposal. Development is what the city wants, even if not in the best interest of the community, incompatible with the area, doesn’t fit official land use studies and is a safety concern for those traveling Lake Brandt and using the recreational areas at the lake.
A number of compelling reasons should stop the proposal and one is safety. Traffic along Lake Brandt road will change once the new interchange at Lawndale is completed soon. The developer’s traffic study looks at traffic patterns now with no projection for how it will change once the interchange is completed. Lake Brandt reduces from five to two lanes after Jesse Wharton Elementary, creating a traffic bottleneck at the commercial development. The downhill “S” curve just before the entrance to the lake and the traffic funnel that it creates will be problematic for traffic patterns as cars go in and out of the proposed development. Imagine left turns there into the commercial development.
With the bicyclists that travel the road there is no shoulder or anywhere for them to ride but in the lanes. The increased traffic is sure to create dangerous conditions for them in the future. Safety of citizens and those that visit our area for recreation should be a concern to the city and county officials, not just increased revenue from unwanted commercial development.
Editor’s Note: I was at the Zoning Commission meeting and perhaps I can help clear up a misunderstanding. The neighborhood wasn’t told that it had to come up with its own plan for development of the property. The point the zoning commissioners were trying to make is that the neighborhood cannot expect the property owner to keep his land undeveloped and that if they didn’t like the commercial development presented, they should consider what they would like to see on that property.
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