Saturday, October 24, 2015

Rodney King, Jeff Pearlman, and Roegels BBQ

We often joke in my house about the great philosopher Rodney King.  Not joking about Mr. King himself, but the quote "Why can't we all just get along".  Something happens on the news where people are fighting about something like politics, social injustice, or something silly like which side of the Twix bar is better, I will pop off with a snarky comment "why can't we all just get along."  Now, I am all for standing my ground and voicing what I believe in and I want to encourage everyone to stand for something.  However, the level of discourse in this country has devolved to a level that is unhealthy for all of us.  I believe many factors can be attributed to this.  Most people will attribute this to the anonymity of the internet but I believe that it is something more.  I believe that as our culture matures, we have become less civil to each other.  Instead of respecting others opinions in healthy discourse we take the path of least resistance and completely disregard others opinions as those of nutjobs, wackos, etc. Daniel Patrick Moynihan talked about defining deviancy down.  I believe this also applies to how we have been talking to each other in the manner of social discourse.  What was considered being rude and hateful 20 years ago, is now ok in the manner of discussing important social and political issues today.  Moynihan, a Democratic Senator, said "The liberal left can be as rigid and destructive as any force in American life."  I believe that this is also now true of the parts of the Republican party and we in our country are being torn apart by not being able to find common ground.

Now, how do I start off with Rodney King and transition to Jeff Pearlman and BBQ?  Here goes, Jeff Pearlman started following me on Twitter.  I was a Twitter newby at the time and I followed him back because he was a sports writer.  I did not know anything about him.  I quickly found out that he was liberal atheist who commented frequently about just about everything from lazy slobs who leave their trash on coffee shop tables to Gun Control.  I can tell you we disagreed on just about everything he tweeted about except when it came to human decency.  Some of his tweets led to direct twitter messages about gun control, God, etc.  When we were direct twitter messaging, I discovered that we could agree to disagree without calling each other out as morons, asses, etc.  We did find common ground and I believe that if we were working together in congress we could find common ground on ideas and move this country forward.  In fact, Jeff asked me to do his question and answer session called "The Quaz"  I had read a couple of these in the past but was initially reluctant to do it.  I decided to do it after reading one of the past interviews that he had done and realized that when it came to this interview format, he asked tough questions but was fair to all the respondents.  I agreed to do it and you can find it here. As Jeff and I worked through the process of getting this interview done I realized that we could have differing opinions and still find each other likable.  We still disagree on much, but if we can work together so can our representatives in Government.  Here is my solution:

  • All Special interest Groups and money need to be removed from our elected officials.  They should not have to raise money for relections, it should be provided from a general election fund.
  • Term limits.  Two terms for a Congressman and 1 term for a Senator
  • Pay enough for them to be able to leave their real jobs and just be a representative
  • Being a Congressman/Senator should be for people that truly want to SERVE the country and their constituents.  It should not be a career, but for people that want to serve and lead.

Now how do we get to BBQ after all that?, well Jeff thinks I should blog and tweet more often so I am going to try and get back to this more regularly.  He thinks I often blog brilliantly, so I do not want to deny the one or two people that read this blog.

I was in the Houston, TX area this week traveling with a colleague as we had meetings with local chemical companies.  We had the opportunity to have lunch together and I convinced my colleague that we should grab some BBQ at one of the new Houston BBQ hotspots.  We went to Roegels BBQ also known as @thepigonvoss .  I had the two meat plate with Turkey and sliced brisket.  The turkey was moist and smokey.  The brisket was perfect and the bark on it was unique and delicious.  I also had the corn salad with black beans.  It was wonderful without a huge line on a Tuesday.  If you are in Houston, this is a great place to try out.  I can tell you the atmosphere here is perfect for a BBQ joint and I will be back when I am in the area.  I spoke to Russell for a few minutes and we we discussed our experiences at #bbqcamp at Texas A&M.  This is a great place, perfect BBQ atmosphere, and good folks.  I will do a better write up for them after I go back and take some pics.

God and Texas