The observations of a 50 something with lots of experience in politics, government, life and learning.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Well, after the 2004 election, I vowed not to spend any $ in a red state. I took a vacation to San Diego (albeit a red part of a blue state!) and licked my wounds.

But of course my son lives in VA, so if we want to go visit, we have to cross the border. After that it's a slippery slope to fun and sun in the winter. First it was a trip to Naples (FL, not Italy...) and Palm Beach. I was visiting Democrats so I thought that that ameliorated things a bit. And besides, I was recovering from advising people on Medicare D, which the R's dreamed up. And my daughter was busy in CA, so I was forced to go to FL....I'm a Democrat and can't afford not to vacation where I don't have friends.

Now we're seeing the Carolinas. And a bit of Georgia. I have yet to see a bumper sticker or lawn sign for a D candidate. If they are Dems, they probably don't advertise it I guess. I did see a Linda Lovelace for Governor as a Republican....could it be the same? Maybe the South is more interesting than I give it credit for.

I can't believe that the entire city of New Orleans didn't decamp to Savannah. What a gorgeous city! And if you want to eat like a queen, go to Alligator Soul. For a real southern experience, there's Mrs. Wilke's, which has twenty dishes on the table family style. Vegetarians could get more than enough to eat! Now we're in Charleston and my husband FINALLY gets to see Ft. Sumter after all these years. He was studying for an antitrust exam the last time we were here and had to eschew tourism.

I'm sure you all want to know how the dogs are doing. Well, in point of fact, they're great. Savannah is a particularly dog-friendly city (drinking fountains with places for dogs and a restaurant on River St. that had out a dog water dish with a slice of lemon!) and Charleston is too. Our friends Virg and Shane live outside the city limits of Asheville in Buncombe (as in "that's pure buncombe") County and they had the run of the hills which pleased them no end. Tomorrow we are on to Richmond, then DC, then home. We have decided not to burn and pillage as we make our way north. We feel it is more appropriate to eat them out of house and home and wear T shirts that say "Free DC" or "1992 Democratic National Convention" as sort of subliminal advertising.

But in the midst of this one observation. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY WHEN YOUNG MEN BURN DOWN CHURCHES AS A "JOKE?" Remember that this happened in "family values" land -- Alabama. I know I will raise the ire of my friends when I say we need to be teaching values and character in the schools but obviously people aren't getting it at home! There was a wonderful op-ed in the USA Today of all things from an AP history teacher at TC Williams H.S. in Alexandria VA (TC is the alma mater of my daughter-in-law to-be, BTW...) about how one of the reasons h.s. students are failing is because many of them have no work ethic. And that parents are enabling this behavior by always agreeing with their kid and not backing up the teacher. It was a bold observation and I commend him for it. And, as a former substitute teacher in a high school NOT in the inner city, I can tell you it resonated with me.

We "progressives" have been remiss about not wanting to speak out about values clarity. Understanding values and ethics is one of the things that keeps a free society free and underpins democracy. It's how you learn it's NOT OK TO STEAL elections.

Or as Fastow said "I thought I was being a team player for Enron." Yeah, right.

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