The Dysfunction of American Politics

Imagine that you’re a part of the American family. You are, so it’s hard not to imagine. Every four years, your parents go nuts and get embroiled in this huge fight over the family itself. Both parents turn to you and your siblings laying out their best case about who is right and who is wrong.

Your conscious is clear and you make a choice. After listening to both sides, you declare “I side with mom” or “I side with dad.” Your mind is made up but your brothers and sisters, don’t agree with you, but you stand firm in your choice.

Your parents feel it is important that he/she is the decisive winner and they begin to attack each other. One brings up the other’s infidelity. The another spends way too much money. One is a racist. The other is a liar.

Now, your parent needs you to get involved. The need you to turn against the other parents and not only that, you need to attack your brothers and sisters who do not side with you. They call you racist. You call them idiots for siding with the other parents. “If you don’t side with us, we are no longer related,” you shout defiantly.

Instantly, the fight is over. One parent won and the other lost. They lost, not in the good way where common ground was found and agreement was found. You lost…even though more of your siblings sided with you.

Regardless, the fight is over. Mom and Dad call a truce and continue their lives as if nothing happened. They go back to running the family knowing they will have another chance to change things four years from now.

You, on the other hand, are left there devastated, wondering what the hell happened. Your family is left in shambles, while your parents tell you, to move one. “Things will be better later,” they offer as a consolation. When you question them about the things you said about the other parent, they laugh and say that’s how we fight in this family.

So your parents head off to their very expensive bedroom and make laws. You find yourself downstairs standing in the aftermath of the war your parents made you a willing participant. Even though your emotions are raw and your anger is seething…well, at least you know your parents are upstairs living the life of the privileged politician.

Don’t worry. We’ll just wait until the next time they need us to slit each other’s throats.

Double Cheeseburger from Grinderz – Costa Mesa

I’m on the road constantly–almost every day. “You should try these hole-in-the-walls,” my stomach told me. OK, here’s the first one: Grinderz in Costa Mesa (488 E. 17th St) and I review the Double Cheeseburger.

This is more a burger review than a restaurant review. The staff was pleasant and burgers are the specialty of the shop. I ordered the Double Cheeseburger combo ($9.99) with fries and drink and added bacon for a total of $11.87 (the bacon is extra at $1). The final order came in at 5 minutes–Not bad.

I’m not a big fan of the fries. Just look at the picture. The perfect fry is crispy with creamy soft potato on the inside. While the Grinderz fry is crispy on the outside, there is no potato on the inside. In other words, a crispy shell of nothing. You’ll need a pile of ketchup for this one.

To my taste, the perfect burger is juicy, never well-done, easy to hold and not messy. The Grinderz Cheeseburger consisted of a white bread bun, two thin burger patties, lettuce, tomoatos, red onions, pickles and thousand island dressing. My order did not include red onions.

The cheeseburger was compact making is easy to hold. When you bite on it, you’ll get a clean sweep of all ingredients. The dressing and burger grease created minimal drippage, but I did have to wipe my fingers after every other bite. I’m OK with this. There was a little mess of liquid drippings on the plate, which to me was acceptable.

The burger itself was tasty. The burger patty was thin, juicy, well-seasoned and tasty. Its was not overcooked (like McDonalds). Although it was good, it was not outstanding.

Grinderz is a fine place to eat, but not something I’d go out of my way to eat.