The Coldest Winter

It's amazing what you can get used to if you think about it.  Being a native Texan, I'm used to heat, wide open spaces, and lots of friendly people.  It's different here in the east, and especially in D.C.  Everyone here measures their words.  They don't greet you on the street. They don't look you in the eye.  They are friendly enough when you start up a conversation, but not so likely to initiate one, unless they know you.

Maybe it's because the mindset is different here.  To a simple old cowboy like me, it appears that folks are so used to being done dirty here by the local government, the federal bureaucracy, the Congress, the President (whoever it is), the Supreme Court, their employers, the local constabularies (there are signs everywhere and tickets for everything -- it's 25mph here!  Radar enforced 25!), and just about anyone else you can name, they tend to roll with it...or roll over for it. 

Maybe they've just been run down for too long and have forgotten how to get back up.  I have to think too many just feel like the federal monolith can't be easily moved and have gotten tired of trying.

It amazes me to still see so many Obama/Biden stickers from '08 on cars.  The left is fond of saying, "If you're not outraged, you haven't been paying attention."  Obviously, not. 

I'm also amazed at the ho-hum attitude of the local news.  A trillion here, a trillion there.  What else is new?  The President this, the Evil Republicans that...ho-hum and so forth.  The press' attitude toward the President and the deference given to him here is real and palpable.  It's so thick, you can cut it with a Bowie Knife. 

Thank God for friends and the Tea Parties.  My "DC Embeds" are from Texas.  She's a Fightin' Texas Aggie and Gung-ho Marine Mom.  He's a gun-toting federal officer with one of our national services -- quick to smile, armed to the teeth, and ready to offer a helping hand before it's ever asked.  Friendly, down home Texans to be sure.  They're both smart as they come, and I don't mean just books, but common sense.  That's a quality sorely lacking up here where B.S. comes by the dump truck load.  She's also my Wolf Brand Chili connection.  Shhh.  Don't tell anyone.  That stuff is Texas Gold deep in the heart of Yankeeland, and it's awfully hard to come by.  Warms you up, too.

I talked with a friend in the Virginia Tea Parties and told them what's going on in Texas.  The Texas Legislature is still in session till May, and there has been plenty of fighting while I've been up here freezing in January and February, then getting rained on in March and April.  Now that we're getting deeper into DC April, I expect things will start to thaw out quicker on both fronts. 

I reckon I've been colder, but this is the coldest place I've lived in terms of sustained  temperatures and folks' attitudes.  I know you folks in Duluth and Green Bay are laughing out loud right about now, but I don't suppose you'd much like our 6 month summers with 6 weeks of 100+ degrees temperatures, either.  I guess it's because each time I expect to get warmer, here comes another front and I'm cold, wet, or almost freezing...again.  I didn't expect it to go on for so long.  Either the weather, or Obama.  Figured by now, it'd be sorted out.  Things would start to change.  These cherry blossoms have been pretty beaten up by the cold/warm/rain/repeat cycle.  But they're still here, and so are the patriots.

I guess it's just an impression.  Maybe I'm dead wrong, but it sure doesn't feel like it.  The things I hear on the radio, over dinner, in conversation or on the television, all say the same thing..."conform!"  That may sound kinda strange to attribute to your typical, ultra-tolerant, (except to white, Christian conservatives, of course) diversity-loving, military hating, left-winger, but let's take a closer look at that.

"Don't say anything to offend anyone."  "Everyone has the right to live however they choose."  "There is no right or wrong."  "Be kind.  Accept whatever's different."  "America isn't an exceptional nation, it's just one nation and it's part of the world."  "We don't have the right to impose our will on anyone."  "Don't condemn."  "Don't stand up for yourself."  "It's the government's job."  "Why doesn't the government do more?"  "Corporations are evil."  "The Tea Parties are racist."  "Republicans are bad, they want to take away our Social Security."  Democrats are good, they are for the unions and the little guy."

Need I go on? 

I hear it over and over, like a broken record from folks who are educated, nice enough, and seem to have some common sense about them.  But it's all about saying what your friends say, doing what they do, and being acceptable.  It's a far cry from 1776, I'm here to tell you. 

Of course, not everyone "conforms" and I don't think there's any "right" not to be offended one way or another.  Grow up.  It's called life.  The one breath of fresh air here is the military.  On the trains, or on the street, strike up a conversation.  There's lots of 'em here, God Bless 'em.  Thank God, someone here has their heads on straight, even if they're handcuffed by the ROEs overseas.

Tea Partiers here know there's not much hope of "converting" the liberal faithful.  There doesn't seem to be much middle ground to talk and the lines are pretty well drawn.  I've never met so many people who claim to be independent (to a Texan, an independent is someone who's too afraid to pick a side), then spout liberal line after liberal line, like talking points.  I guess "Independence" has lost its true meaning for too many here in DC.

This is Indian Country.  Mind your friends.  Keep your head down and your powder dry.  Aim true.  Spring is almost here, but winter ain't over just yet.
It's amazing what you can get used to if you think about it.  Being a native Texan, I'm used to heat, wide open spaces, and lots of friendly people.  It's different here in the east, and especially in D.C.  Everyone here measures their words.  They don't greet you on the street. They don't look you in the eye.  They are friendly enough when you start up a conversation, but not so likely to initiate one, unless they know you.

Maybe it's because the mindset is different here.  To a simple old cowboy like me, it appears that folks are so used to being done dirty here by the local government, the federal bureaucracy, the Congress, the President (whoever it is), the Supreme Court, their employers, the local constabularies (there are signs everywhere and tickets for everything -- it's 25mph here!  Radar enforced 25!), and just about anyone else you can name, they tend to roll with it...or roll over for it. 

Maybe they've just been run down for too long and have forgotten how to get back up.  I have to think too many just feel like the federal monolith can't be easily moved and have gotten tired of trying.

It amazes me to still see so many Obama/Biden stickers from '08 on cars.  The left is fond of saying, "If you're not outraged, you haven't been paying attention."  Obviously, not. 

I'm also amazed at the ho-hum attitude of the local news.  A trillion here, a trillion there.  What else is new?  The President this, the Evil Republicans that...ho-hum and so forth.  The press' attitude toward the President and the deference given to him here is real and palpable.  It's so thick, you can cut it with a Bowie Knife. 

Thank God for friends and the Tea Parties.  My "DC Embeds" are from Texas.  She's a Fightin' Texas Aggie and Gung-ho Marine Mom.  He's a gun-toting federal officer with one of our national services -- quick to smile, armed to the teeth, and ready to offer a helping hand before it's ever asked.  Friendly, down home Texans to be sure.  They're both smart as they come, and I don't mean just books, but common sense.  That's a quality sorely lacking up here where B.S. comes by the dump truck load.  She's also my Wolf Brand Chili connection.  Shhh.  Don't tell anyone.  That stuff is Texas Gold deep in the heart of Yankeeland, and it's awfully hard to come by.  Warms you up, too.

I talked with a friend in the Virginia Tea Parties and told them what's going on in Texas.  The Texas Legislature is still in session till May, and there has been plenty of fighting while I've been up here freezing in January and February, then getting rained on in March and April.  Now that we're getting deeper into DC April, I expect things will start to thaw out quicker on both fronts. 

I reckon I've been colder, but this is the coldest place I've lived in terms of sustained  temperatures and folks' attitudes.  I know you folks in Duluth and Green Bay are laughing out loud right about now, but I don't suppose you'd much like our 6 month summers with 6 weeks of 100+ degrees temperatures, either.  I guess it's because each time I expect to get warmer, here comes another front and I'm cold, wet, or almost freezing...again.  I didn't expect it to go on for so long.  Either the weather, or Obama.  Figured by now, it'd be sorted out.  Things would start to change.  These cherry blossoms have been pretty beaten up by the cold/warm/rain/repeat cycle.  But they're still here, and so are the patriots.

I guess it's just an impression.  Maybe I'm dead wrong, but it sure doesn't feel like it.  The things I hear on the radio, over dinner, in conversation or on the television, all say the same thing..."conform!"  That may sound kinda strange to attribute to your typical, ultra-tolerant, (except to white, Christian conservatives, of course) diversity-loving, military hating, left-winger, but let's take a closer look at that.

"Don't say anything to offend anyone."  "Everyone has the right to live however they choose."  "There is no right or wrong."  "Be kind.  Accept whatever's different."  "America isn't an exceptional nation, it's just one nation and it's part of the world."  "We don't have the right to impose our will on anyone."  "Don't condemn."  "Don't stand up for yourself."  "It's the government's job."  "Why doesn't the government do more?"  "Corporations are evil."  "The Tea Parties are racist."  "Republicans are bad, they want to take away our Social Security."  Democrats are good, they are for the unions and the little guy."

Need I go on? 

I hear it over and over, like a broken record from folks who are educated, nice enough, and seem to have some common sense about them.  But it's all about saying what your friends say, doing what they do, and being acceptable.  It's a far cry from 1776, I'm here to tell you. 

Of course, not everyone "conforms" and I don't think there's any "right" not to be offended one way or another.  Grow up.  It's called life.  The one breath of fresh air here is the military.  On the trains, or on the street, strike up a conversation.  There's lots of 'em here, God Bless 'em.  Thank God, someone here has their heads on straight, even if they're handcuffed by the ROEs overseas.

Tea Partiers here know there's not much hope of "converting" the liberal faithful.  There doesn't seem to be much middle ground to talk and the lines are pretty well drawn.  I've never met so many people who claim to be independent (to a Texan, an independent is someone who's too afraid to pick a side), then spout liberal line after liberal line, like talking points.  I guess "Independence" has lost its true meaning for too many here in DC.

This is Indian Country.  Mind your friends.  Keep your head down and your powder dry.  Aim true.  Spring is almost here, but winter ain't over just yet.

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