Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Snapshot of America

The other day I was visiting a Starbucks to get my tall(small) hot mocha with no whip. I am kinda an addict and really enjoy these drinks although I must say that all Starbucks are not created equal. There is an inconsistency there that is sometimes a bit bothersome. I like my mocha drink to be bitter and really get irritated if it ends up tasting like warm chocolate milk. There are other places that are a good deal more consistent. Dirk's Coffee shop on Montrose in Houston is pretty good as is Coffee Grounds(z) on Brazos. It is the coffee shop right behind the big Specs Liquor on Smith St., which is in itself another quite cool place to hang out. With wines, beer and liquor from all over the world it is an educational visit and a good place to kill time. At any rate, Coffee Grounds(z) is always good and the coffee is always fresh. They now have a full bar for the enjoyment of those so inclined. No you can't get a shot to go. This is Texas and not Louisiana after all. Pity. Coffee Grounds(z) tends to cater to the local yuppieish type crowd and there is always seems to be some weenie hanging around writing a novel. Dirk's caters more to the local hippy type crowd that is a reflection of the neighborhood. I love both places. Now, be that as it may, I visit Starbucks simply because they are convenient. There seems to be one on every corner. In Pearland, a southern suburb of Houston, there are three of them in the same shopping complex. No lie. One is a stand alone company store ( I assume), another is located in Target and on the other end of the block there is one located in the Randall's (Safeway) grocery. A bit of overkill if you ask me. The one I visited was in Sugarland, a suburb just to the SW of Houston proper. As I walked in I noticed that I was the only Honky there. There was a family in the corner talking in Spanish, another person obviously from Africa somewhere with tribal scars and the whole works, another person was talking in her cell phone in an Asian language, along with two women from India. There is a rather large Indian immigrant community nearby. Let me tell you something about bartending an Indian dominated event. There is a location called the Safari Ranch nearby that tends to cater to Indian weddings. I have bartended there quite a number of times and usually found it pretty profitable. Those people certainly throw a bash. The women all want to drink Margaritas it seems and it behooves the bartender to make a large batch. Otherwise the barman will be making individual Margaritas all night long. That my friend is a pain in the ass if you are busy. The men tend to drink Scotch Whiskey. I actually had a man order Scotch and Dr. Pepper with three olives. That is perhaps the strangest drink I ever made. But I digress. As I was getting my drink at Starbucks it occurred to me that this was a slice of America. That is one of the few things I really like about the Houston area. There are people from all over the world here and that translates into some damn good eating. The restaurants here are second to none. I have eaten Cuban, Vietnamese, authentic Thai, Brazilian, Sonoran, TexMex, Spanish, Italian (the real deal), BBQ that melts in your mouth, "Soul" food, Lebanese, Indian, etc. I have not tried the Ethiopian (yes there is one)place on Richmond but may do so someday. With such diversity in the area, ever day is Christmas for a real "foodie." This is a good thing.
Now how does this openness to other cultures "fit in" with someone like myself who believes in the rule of law? Or to be more plain, a person that believes in severe restrictions on immigration. There is no conflict. To me people are welcome to come to this great land in search of the American dream as long as they go through the proper channels and come here legally with the preferable intent on becoming citizens of this land. I do not care (for the most part) what a person's country of origin is. However, this is a sovereign nation and we in this nation can certainly say who comes in and who does not. That type of thinking automatically creates cries of "racism" Imperialism, etc etc from those in the "race business." Our most glaring problem is an invasion from an unfriendly nation just to the south and anyone advocating closing that border is accused of being a racist. Nothing is further from the truth in my case. I say let those from Mexico (and other nations) come in as long as it is done legally. Those that attempt to cross the border without going through the proper channels will be turned back by any humane means necessary. Those that are already here illegally, when discovered, are to be deported expeditiously.
A very easy fix to the problem would be to militarize and close the southern border. Problem solved. That is not racist. If you think it be so, then you are a dolt. It is a common sense approach to the defense of the nation.
Now with that being said I must admit that I would prefer a severe restriction on those that are followers of the Prophet, no matter the country of origin. I fully understand that this is prejudicial and plead guilty to this with no apologies. To me this is nothing more than common sense and again a prudent strategy of defense. Islamaphobic (is that a word?) you may say. Damn right is my reply. For good reason.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

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