Friday, May 31, 2013

What is Living in a Small Town in America Like?

I never really have lived in a small town, unless you call a gated community of 4,000 something like it. It must be interesting. Do you live in a small town? If so, what's it like?

I don't know if I could be happy without being able to catch a great international film that was just released, or checking out the oldies at special stores that keep them. I don't know if I could be content without picking up something interesting to eat on a whim, or shopping for something really fabulous to wear last minute. Miami is not a huge city, but the exposure to art and music is sufficient to keep my cultural taste buds happy. There are plenty of galleries, design districts and multi-cultural events to enjoy.

I know how to make coffee (cafecito) at home, but couldn't imagine life without the espresso stands where people get together to just be social or share the day's news. Coffee down here is not at all like at Starbucks where you keep to yourself for hours on end over a notepad or computer. It's not quiet at coffee stands anywhere in Miami. You take a shot (not a sip) of a small but potent cup of finely ground coffee mixed with a generous amount of sugar and conversation flows. The moment is meant to be shared - whether with a stranger or someone you already know. That ritual alone makes this big city feel like a small town.

I know where I live is not ideal, but geographically, I do love the flat, wide open and undeveloped space that surrounds my community. I am thirty minutes from Miami, where I spend a lot of time. I have the best of both worlds living near a big city where my family is, and being in a small town where I reside the rest of the time. Homestead is the closest I will ever get to that small-town feeling or "country"in America, so I am curious about what your experiences are.

Even though the population is over 60,000, there is less traffic, plenty of green acres with seemingly endless nursery farms, and nifty craft shops here and there. There is one official Main Street, even though it is a historic district that is mostly vacant and inactive. You can find a few general stores open for business in some of the more rural areas in the outskirts of town. The fresh air, fresh produce and access to exotic fruit grown locally are a plus. I also never have to dress fancy to go anywhere down here either, which is always nice. It still does not feel like a small town, though. Population growth and construction, as slow as both may be, are steady. In twelve years it has lose part of its charm and character.

Key Largo is just 24 minutes away, and Key West just three hours south of that. At its southernmost point, Key West is just 90 miles north of Cuba. In the Everglades, 25 miles west of me, is Flamingo Part. At its southernmost tip, you can see the sun rise and set from two different oceans from the same spot. If you pitch a tent in February or March, you don't risk getting swarmed by mosquitoes and the view is simply gorgeous: one horizon with both views. Incredible. I don't own a boat, but can only imagine how wonderful it must be to have the bay area, the Atlantic Ocean, or the Gulf of Mexico at your disposal any time. Many people come fom all over the globe to park their boats along the waterways along the Keys. I wonder if local residents feel like they live in a small town with so many visitors all the time.

Overall, I find the experience of living in South Florida a mixed bag of blessings. It is an improvised city in many ways, and small towns have history; but there are many ways in which this has been made to feel like a place where everyone knows you. In the case of Sourth Florida, you don't have to know everyone by name to know the history, struggle and general politics people live by. I grew up hearing about politics on a daily basis. It is a part of life. It has brought us together in many ways.

Before 2008, politics never was a real topic of conversation.  Maybe politics will unite more than ever. The more we know each other, the more effectively we will fight against the forces that seek to destroy us. No one should be in the trenches with stranger. Security-wise it IS a fact that knowing your neighbors makes everyone safer.

I think the elitists that Sarah Palin is referring to would be well-served by having more respect for small towns and America would definitely benefit from all the advantages that both lifestyles bring.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I Can't Say That I am Completely Happy That Michele Bachmann Is Going

I Can’t Say That I am Completely Happy Michele Bachmann is Going.

I never agreed with how Michele went about doing things. She never did seem to make or keep enough friends in the GOP or Tea Party. That is lesson number one in politics – being loyal to those who help you.  She chose instead to promote herself constantly.

Michele never seemed to have acute political instincts and allowed herself to be used by the GOP to thwart Sarah’s hopes of running in May of 2012. She apparently backstabbed Sarah Palin by trashing her supporters while running for President in Iowa. We will never know what happened, but if it is true, then it was definitely not a wise move. Sarah had publicly campaigned for her re-election in Minnesota, and she should have been more gracious. Sarah is so well-loved and loyally so, why would Michele think that would go well politically? I know Sarah Palin has taken the high road in many instances and this was just one more example of why that pays off.

I called Michele damaged goods when she would not criticize Romney during the debates.  She expected to get something in return from him, but was only fooling herself the entire time.
Michele Bachmann used the TEA PARTY caucus to promote herself from the start. My particular gripe with that is that she didn’t stand up to Mr. Anti-TEA PARTY himself, John BOEHNER, when we needed her to. She held out until the end to see which way the vote would swing, and VOTED FOR his speakership renewal on January 3rd of this year. Apparently he managed to bribe her into casting the last vote for him. That is not courageous. We needed a fresh start by removing him. She never defended the FOUR fiscal conservatives that were purged from the committees either, and that was just plain wrong!  She hurt our cause that way.

All of that being said, she should have stayed to fight the good fight and to show her sincerity and prove she really meant what she stood for.  Her strongest point was to push for investigation into Muslim Brotherhood infiltration in DC, which is a huge problem.  I respected her willingness to take the heat and to stand alone. So many don’t. There is simply too much pressure and p.c. to take this head on. The cowards who turned their backs on it (we know who they are) will probably never have the burden or fear of being investigated, as they help the administration and our enemies. WE NEED SOMEONE TO TAKE THIS ISSUE ON in the GOP! Some with less baggage and a lot more effectiveness will hopefully take her place.  It is too important to ignore, given the critical circumstances we all find ourselves in.

Here are her comments following the Benghazi attacks:

“It is my belief and my opinion that Barack Obama has been the most dangerous President we have ever had on American foreign policy.  President OBama needs to get his priorities straight. What he needs to do is cancel his interview with David Letterman, cancel his meeting with Beyonce, cancel his meeting with JayZ, and instead agree to meet with the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu.”


Finally, I met her at the screening of ”Occupy Unmasked” in Tampa last year. She presented the movie and spoke admirably about Andrew Breitbart. It was a great experience which I will always remember.  I wish her well and urge her to continue fighting. It’s never about us as individuals, but about the cause. Having battle wounds is the only way to know a warrior has fought hard. To me she never really did BEGIN to FIGHT or show what she was made of.

The Left is viciously attacking her personally. NO matter how much I disagree with the less favorite politicians from our side, it is never okay to trash them, especially Conservative women, like they do.