Political tales from the treadmill | Bob Roegner

I still hate the treadmill! I’ve written before about my love-hate relationship with this ill-tempered machine with evil human qualities. I know it’s good for me, but I honestly think it smiles as it considers the level of torture it can provide.

This morning, like always, it is dark and cold. Though it’s rare, I have missed a couple of days to attend breakfast meetings, further contributing to my need for a long workout. I read several newspapers to make the time pass faster. I set the elevation at 6.5 and the speed at 3.5 mph. I thought having a couple of degrees from Pacific Lutheran University would make me a lot smarter. But as I read several days of news coverage, I find that there are a significant number of events I simply don’t understand.

I see the courts have ruled that prisoners in corrections facilities can vote. Doesn’t committing a crime suggest that civic responsibility, such as voting, isn’t a real high priority to some of these folks? Or, do the courts believe that the increased number of former Congressmen currently incarcerated has increased the level of political awareness?

Apparently, the Legislature is considering a bill to limit the photo cameras that catch red light runners at intersections. Now I know those cameras may seem a little invasive, but when the light turns red, aren’t we supposed to stop? It’s really not just a suggestion, and running a red light can be dangerous, can’t it? Another bill in the Legislature seeks to add four seconds to the time a light stays yellow to give drivers more time to get through the intersections. If a yellow caution light means clear or do not enter, doesn’t adding four seconds just change which drivers run the red light that follows the yellow one?

I move the treadmill up to 7.5 elevation and 3.8 mph. Reading the newspaper increases my adrenaline. Here’s another article about the state budget and the need for additional revenue. It seems someone wants to raise taxes on liquor and sugar. Even with the depressing economy likely contributing to the level of alcohol consumption, I can understand that approach. But now they want to increase taxes on my Hershey bar, Snowballs and Twinkie. OK, I don’t like Snowballs and Twinkies very much. But I was brought up to believe that it was my God-given right to partake of the occasional candy bar at a reasonable price. And chocolate provides such a blissful momentary change from the world’s problems. There must be something else they can tax more — maybe toothpaste?

Another legislator wants to privatize liquor stores. That would probably lower the price, but doesn’t that take the profits from the public and give them to someone else? I noticed that State Sen. Pam Roach (R-District 31) was kicked out of the Republican caucus after several years of angry outbursts at staff and other senators. According to one newspaper, she also displayed a gun during one episode. Do legislative leaders really believe publicly embarrassing her on the front page of the newspaper will somehow improve her mood?

I also notice it’s time to fill out your ballot for the Best of Federal Way. How come there isn’t a category for best columnist? My vote would go to Amy Johnson. She did the impossible. She was able to upset gun owners in a sex column. That’s creative writing at its best.

OK, it’s time to stop. The treadmill is at 8.0 elevation and 4.2 mph, and I don’t remember changing either one. The treadmill has a mind of its own, and I’m more confused about politics now than when I started.

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