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The Spectator
founded 2004 by ron cruger
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 by Ron Cruger
Starbuck's Seven Discuss the State of the World
2012 Spectator Ron - The Spectator All Rights Reserved
        It was chilly as the rains fell. Inside Starbuck’s it was cozy warm. The wafting scents of the various brewing coffees filled the air.
        Four of the Starbuck’s Seven arrived simultaneously. Steve, the handsome forty five year old black man. Aimee, the petite Asian in her mid-thirties. Mary, the outspoken forty two year old liberal leaning student of history and Helen, in her mid- fifties, the group’s leader in logic.
        They placed their coffee orders with the barista and walked to a quiet corner of the coffee house. Joining them and assisting them in placing two tables together and arranging chairs for the group, was their acknowledged leader, sixty six year old Dick, the acknowledged leader of the Starbuck’s Seven.
       Arriving shortly was Helaine, the tall, graceful liberal and former hippie and myself.
        Each of the seven found a chair. Dick stood in front of the group and said, “Hi, folks. Glad you’re here and we’re together again. Perhaps today we could discuss the state of our union and what’s going on in the world.”
        Mary, sipped her caramel macchiato, quickly swallowed and offered, “Y’know, I’ve been a supporter of President Obama, but my support is beginning to dwindle. I know this thing with Russia and Putin in Ukrain is difficult and frail, but I wish listening to him gave me more confidence. We need someone like John Wayne to lead the way now.”
        Helen appeared anxious to speak. Dick pointed to her, “Helen, what’s on your mind?”
        “Thanks, Dick. You know I’m more of a conservative than a liberal, but I have to agree with Mary. I just get the same feelings that the Poles and the Czechs must have felt when Chamberlain met with Hitler and Chamberlain announced, ‘ Now we’ll have peace in our time.’ “I have a hunch that there are millions of Americans who are losing their confidence in our ability to stand up to the current Hitlers of the world.”
        Dick turned to Steve and said, “Dick, what do you have to say?”
         “To tell you the truth, I’m worried. This is as close to a shooting war that I’ve seen since Kennedy, Khrushchev and Cuba. I wouldn’t want to be in our President’s shoes right now. He’s treading lightly and trying to get other world leaders on board to punish Putin for invading a sovereign country and then get him to withdraw his troops and go back to Russia. So far, the President has done a good job in getting world leaders on board a plan to admonish Putin and get him to go home.”
        Helaine had something to say. “A word keeps popping into my mind. I think of all of our brave men and women serving in the military. They’re listening to all of this negativity about America and its leaders. For years now there has been nothing but hardcore criticism and complaints about America’s leadership, specifically about the President. You know, the Rush Limbaugh thing. A constant, day after day, insulting our President. If I was a soldier in a foxhole in a foreign land I would be thinking about what I was doing in a far-off land, endangering my life, when back home everyone is saying that our President and our other leaders don’t know what they’re doing and additionally they want to turn the U.S.A. into a Socialist land. The word I keep thinking about –is patriotism. I just don’t believe we can remain strong and the world leader without our citizens carrying patriotism for our country in their hearts.”
        Aimee, the pert Asian, with the exceptionally wealth father in Hong Kong, moved her cup of caffe latte and said, “I hate to say this, but I think that Vladimir Putin is doing what he’s doing because he has no respect for our President. Putin is pushing America as far as he can push us because, in his mind, he doesn’t think we’ll get serious about stopping him. He’s a tough, bully kind of guy. A former KGB operative. This is a real test of our mettle.”
        I added, “I agree with Helaine that without a nation-wide sense of patriotism our country will no longer be the world leader it has been. Somewhere along the line we have to return to the spirit that our country had in WW I and WWII. When we were proud to be Americans.”
Dick stood. His large cup of strong coffee was empty.
        “I’ve listened closely. I’ve always been critical of President Obama, but I think we have to give him a few more days before we get all over him. I think America has to get behind our President and our armed forces. They have to feel that we support them. There’s a time for politics and there’s a time for patriotism. Obama may not have shown us that he’s our greatest president, but this isn’t the time to play politics. It’s a dangerous time. It’s a time for all Americans to stand for something – not against.”
        The cups were empty.
        The Starbuck’s Seven stood, said their goodbyes to each other and went their ways.
        Helaine slowly walked to her car. She thought, “I hope there isn’t a war.”
        Steve opened his car door and slid in to the driver’s seat. He thought, “I hope there isn’t a war."