A short distance away is the Tidal Basin, ringed by cherry trees that every year produce flowers, an event to which Washingtonians react as though it were the Second Coming of Christ.
Thus the white men and Native Americans were able, through the spirit of goodwill and compromise, to reach the first in what would become a long series of mutually beneficial, breached agreements that enabled the two cultures to coexist peacefully for stretches of twenty and sometimes even thirty days, after which it was usually necessary to negotiate new agreements that would be even more mutual and beneficial, until eventually the Native Americans were able to perceive the vast mutual benefits of living in rock-strewn sectors of South Dakota.
The Democrats seem to be basically nicer people, but they have demonstrated time and again that they have the management skills of celery. They’re the kind of people who’d stop to help you change a flat, but would somehow manage to set your car on fire. I would be reluctant to entrust them with a Cuisinart, let alone the economy. The Republicans, on the other hand, would know how to fix your tire, but they wouldn’t bother to stop because they’d want to be on time for Ugly Pants Night at the country club
I like the relaxed way in which the Japanese approach religion. I think of myself as basically a moral person, but I’m definitely not religious, and I’m very tired of the preachiness and obsession with other people’s behavior characteristic of many religious people in the United States. As far as I could tell, there’s nothing preachy about Buddhism. I was in a lot of temples, and I still don’t know what Buddhists believe, except that at one point Kunio said ‘If you do bad things, you will be reborn as an ox.’This makes as much sense to me as anything I ever heard from, for example, the Reverend Pat Robertson.