Hanging Out in Rockford: Drew, Dori and George

My son has been visiting from Budapest. He wanted to bring his girlfriend Dori with him, but she could not get a visa to visit the United States. She is a student working on her doctorate degree in psychology. According to the United States officials in Budapest, she did not demonstrate sufficient economic ties to Hungary. It seems they have this nonsense notion that anyone who visits the U.S. is going to stay because of our wonderful economy. None of these officials has evidently ever taken the four-hour train ride from Budapest to Vienna, where the economy is better, the streets are cleaner, and the currency is a lot stronger than the good old U.S. of A. (at least under the administration of George Bush).

Dori and my son have visited Vienna on numerous occasions. You can easily walk right in the door. I did. There was no paranoia at the border because we Americans were coming to visit. Neither was there a great deal of consternation when we returned to Budapest. Only in America do we fear our world neighbors. Only in America do we insult them, search them, photograph and fingerprint them.

That is not because bad things do not happen elsewhere. They do. We see it on CNN. Rather, we here in the United States are the only people who expect our world to be perfect. We in the United States are the only people to let ourselves be ruled by fear. We are prepared to give up our rights, vilify a people and a religion, and all in the name of some supposed safety that is supposed to accrue from these actions. Obviously, it isn’t working.

Not willing to accept the situation, I contacted Don Manzullo. His assistant, Carol, responded in a timely manner with a letter supporting Dori’s visa. I e-mailed the letter to my son, but it was to no avail. Drew and Dori wound up on the front page of a Hungarian daily in a story about the failed visa situation, but there was no such thing as a trip to the U.S. in store for her. Drew’s ailing grandmother will probably never get to know her. The nation is safe from the onslaught of this 5-foot Hungarian woman.

Drew and I did not get to spend a lot of time together this time around. This trip was mainly scheduled around his grandmother, as it should have been. We tried to set up dinner one night, but I had a business emergency and had to cancel. The little time we did have together was mostly in the car going to and from the airport. We discussed the condition of the world. I confided in him that I have not been so upset with my country since the Vietnam War. I really thought that we as a nation had moved beyond that. I didn’t think this could happen again in my lifetime.

I have said repeatedly to my friends and to anyone who would listen, that I knew George Bush was lying when he said that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I didn’t have any inside information, but I think I am a pretty good judge of character, and I could tell from his demeanor that he was lying. I have since heard that voice stress analysis has been used to prove the same thing. I could see it just from the look on his face. He looked like a liar. He is a liar.

We cannot successfully restart an economy under a reign of fear. Fewer people coming to our country will only weaken our economy and our dollar. The loss to the airlines alone must be staggering. We are losing respect the world over. Nothing will change until we get this man out of the White House.

My friend, Elisha, is having a strange problem with her beautiful Cabrio convertible that she bought at Anderson Nissan-Mazda. The dash brake light went on and she turned the ignition off and then tried to restart it. It was a complete dud, but all the other electrics worked. We had it hauled to a local repair shop where they replaced the starter, but the next day the exact same thing happened. We don’t believe it was the starter. Is anyone out there a Volkswagen expert? Contact me at the Irish Rose at 964-0480.

Owner of the Irish Rose (Rockford) and Irish Rose North (Rockton) restaurants, Mike Leifheit’s “Hanging Out In Rockford” reviews locally-owned restaurants, businesses and Rockford life. These columns are also available on his Web site: IrishRoseRockford.com and featured on WNTA talk radio AM 1330.

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