Sunday, October 24, 2010

7. Coffee versus Tea.

My personal hot drink of choice is coffee; my wife prefers brewed tea, simply a matter of choice. Yet, in many such matters, not everything is as simple as that choice.

The so-called Coffee Party Rallies don’t seem to make sense. A video of a founding party gathering in St. Louis showed a group of barely interested people gathering in a local coffee house. Notice how the TEA Party people do it. Their rallies generally are outside, in a public place and people bring their own signs, many handmade and hand drawn. Some TEA Partiers have signs bearing similar sayings, others bearing all kinds of slogans and sayings, voicing disagreement with some aspect of the federal government. TEA Partiers don’t gather to drink tea or perhaps any special kind of drink or partake of any special kind of food.

But, let’s get back to coffee. In my humble opinion, bad coffee is something a person shouldn’t drink. Seldom happens to me. Coffee needs to be made very hot, to extract coffee flavorings from the bean or from the ground bean powder. The next step is crucial, coffee needs to be cooled down to a sipping temperature, actual sipping temperature a matter of personal choice. In dire circumstances, or while at a local fast food store, take a couple of chunks of ice and drop them into your coffee cup. In many circles, especially very stuffy ones, blowing on hot coffee to cool it is not considered to be in good taste. However, I always like my coffee to taste good and to be easy to sip. Once sipping temperature has been reached, coffee can be downed as quickly as desired while sometimes engaging others in reasonable conversation. Of course, afterwards, it’s probably time to go join the TEA Party rally.

What makes the TEA Party rallies successful is not the tea, or the coffee preceding the rally, it’s the free exchange of ideas during the rallies. Any Coffee Partiers would be welcome as long as they behave and don’t try to subvert the TEA Party agenda with rowdy behavior.

However, unlike the TEA Party folks, I haven’t seen what the Coffee Party (CP) folks stand for, what they want, or what they’re not getting either from government or from their daily existence. One impression from the video of that St; Louis CP meeting was that the CP folks are perfectly happy with whatever the current federal administration is doing.

In the good old days, coffee houses were considered to be places where radical hippies hung out, plotting all kinds of potentially devastating acts upon society or where some simply hung out with others thought to be cool or neat. Maybe some people just kicked back and listened to Spider John or Dylan if they’re lucky. Sometimes the coffee house coffee was the draw.

But for political relevance in today’s world, TEA Party rallies or townhall meetings are the place to be. We Americans are getting accustomed to speaking our minds openly about governmental actions at all levels. And, that expression is getting full play by the TEA Partiers. What will be interesting will be to find out how this current interest will play out in the fall elections and especially well beyond that. Either we allow our Congress to do what it wishes, even contrary to the wishes of the electorate, or we need to demand real reform, real accountability, and real transparency. Also, asking Congress to read a bill before it’s voted on would be desired too. But also desired would include having sufficient time to have to read over 2,100 pages of a complex omnibus bill; not having adequate time to read the new healthcare legislation before voting on it isn’t conducive to the democratic principles this republic of ours espouses.

We’re not really riding the tiger of myth, yet we need to stay on this course and take it to the end. But, don’t ask when it’ll end! Don’t know that and will find out along with the rest of you.

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