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I know I’m late to the party, but since getting back, my new thing has been podcasts. I’m obsessed.

Part of the attraction is that they are in English, which I hunger for more than just about anything else. It’s not as good as having a conversation, of course, but it’s still music to my ears. It also helps that I got a new iPod shuffle while we were home, which actually works as it’s supposed to (my last one never did.) Even though it’s miniscule, it can still hold enough music and podcasts to keep me well-entertained and -educated for quite some time.

Since this discovery, I am becoming increasingly well-informed about both world news and the publishing industry. On my trip to the gym last night, for example, I walked down to the NYT Book Review, I ran to the BBC World Update, then I stretched and walked home to Rachel Maddow. Quite the triumvirate!

Amidst news of Haiti and the recent Massachusetts electoral “revolution”, the BBC also ran a story about a nuclear waste processing plant in Britain, which has just started sending processed waste back to its country of origin. The first such shipment, which arrived there in the 1980s, went back to Japan this week. What caught my attention was not the debate over what to do with such waste, but rather my own reaction to their assurances that sending the waste back would be entirely safe. The main risk is that the waste could be diverted en route and fall into the wrong hands, which British officials asserted would never happen, security is very high, etc etc.

My reaction: Yeah, right. After having flown and gone through security in two different countries last week, I’ve seen your so-called high security, and I find myself distinctly un-reassured.

I caught myself thinking this (in the midst of my run, by the way) and was surprised at my own jadedness. Normally I am one not to think too deeply about the hazards of flying, as I think in this case ignorance is in fact bliss. You gotta get there somehow, right? But apparently the aftermath of the underpants bomber (such an undistinguished moniker!) has unsettled me more than I realized.

We went to the airport a week ago prepared for increased security, longer lines, big hassle, etc. As instructed, we got there two and a half hours early, and ended up having a coffee with Gabe’s family for half an hour. Even once we went through, we still sat around for another half hour before boarding. There was absolutely no difference in security from when my mom and I went through in August, pre-underpants bomber. They still had only one full-body scanner (which of course Gabe the gadget geek insisted on going through), and the rest was all as usual: metal detectors, X-rays, and a wand and pat search for backup.

Ditto in Heathrow, which can usually be relied upon for tighter security procedures. In anticipation of longer security lines, I had already told my half-brother we couldn’t meet him for lunch on our layover this time, as I didn’t think we would have time to go through security again.

Turned out we did not have any choice in the matter, since we were on two different airlines and they couldn’t check our bags all the way through. Of course. So instead we had to go through immigration, tell the nice lady once again that we’d only be in the country for a total of about 3 hours, get our bags (which luckily came through fairly quickly), blearily find the departures area, and check our bags back in again for our next flight.

We were far too early, but the two gossiping young women at the start of the bag check area agreed to let them on anyway. The sleepy man at the desk, who was obviously bored stiff and at the hairy end of a very early shift, completely failed to ask us the usual security questions: Has anyone unknown to you given you anything to take on this flight? And so on. Those questions are total nonsense anyway, but still: this is your so-called heightened security?

Isn’t it reassuring that instead of the airlines working together and just taking your bags all the way through, they would rather have you claim your luggage, go out into the world, and then have sleepy, distracted employees check it in again without so much as a by your leave? Yeah. That’s what I thought.

Then, we went back through security. This time, it took us a total of about ten minutes, and that was mostly because they insisted on doling out the X-ray bins one at a time and then watching as you laid your laptop, toiletries, and other sundries in them — one. Person. At. A. Time. And just as we were almost there… oh, this tiny old white-haired British lady has to take her shoes off, go back through metal detector, and have a pat search! Watch out for that one! Clearly she’s a hazard. Right.

The only difference I noticed was during my own pat search, after my bracelets set off the metal detector. The woman was a lot more thorough and got a lot fresher with me than usual, but still, she respected my privacy and did not come anywhere close to the essential bits. Excuse me? I really don’t mind if you violate my privacy if it means I feel safer on the damn plane.

But even with all that, it took us about ten minutes to get through. And so, instead of having a nice leisurely beer and a sandwich with my brother, we ended up sitting in the crowded Terminal 3 waiting area for two and a half hours before our flight to Lisbon finally boarded. They didn’t even give us a gate until about ten minutes before it closed. I slept fitfully on a bench seat, Gabe updated his Quicken and chatted with some professor from Newfoundland who was headed to South Africa for the winter (good idea!), and we were generally just miserable. Fan-bloody-tastic.

All hassles and physical discomfort aside though, the point is that I didn’t notice a single change or improvement in security at either airport, nearly three weeks after the underpants bomber prompted so much discussion about upgrading security procedures and all the rest. They still went through all the usual motions of security theater — take off your shoes in America, put your toiletries in this small bag in Britain, etc — which are designed to make people feel as though they’re safe. But as proven by my reaction to that nuclear waste story yesterday, our current standard of “high” security has left me feeling distinctly insecure.

This is a new world, with new hazards. It is a bad sign that airport security still involves pretty much the same routine that I remember from flying PanAm when I was a little kid. Seriously guys, it’s time to give a new definition to high security. And until then, I will remain as before: unreassured.


Once again, I had reason this morning to be amazed by the inanity of the main stream media (aka MSM, as I’m learning in the parlance of my new job). As usual, the only time I am exposed to the MSM is at my gym, when I present an entirely captive audience. I am stuck in one place for at least half an hour, the screen is right in front of my face, the hypnotic subtitles drone by… Despite my best efforts to look elsewhere, I get sucked in pretty quickly. At least I choose the stairmaster in front of CNN instead of ESPN — I just won’t go that far, I’m sorry.

This morning, I figured that a little dose of CNN wouldn’t hurt, just to give my news diet a little variety. This week, I’m even more out of touch with the world than I usually am. I had company in town for the last nine days, so my life has been sucked into that strange time vortex which seems to happen whenever you either travel or have guests. Somehow, you feel as though time should stop along with your normal life, so when you go back to your regularly scheduled programming, no time will actually have elapsed. Right? Wrong! Turns out a lot happened during the time I was out of commission, so I’ve been busy catching up with the news.

As I sat there, sweating and stepping away, I was amazed yet again by the sheer frivolity of the stories they covered. On my drive home from the airport last night, I heard a piece on NPR about some independent news association complaining about the stories the media is focusing on in the presidential election. I completely agree — even after a week-long news hiatus, almost immediately I knew all about Sarah Palin’s pregnant teenage daughter and Obama’s lipstick and a pig comment.

I’m sorry, I’m a little confused. Is this a presidential election, or is it People magazine?

Even worse was the story CNN featured as part of their coverage about hurricane Ike. I’m trying to get caught up on what the storm actually damaged, the political ramifications, its effects on gas prices, etc. But what did CNN show? Always on the cutting edge of news reporting, they sent a reporter to a demolished amusement park in Kemah, TX. For the full duration of the segment, this woman walked around the damaged ferris wheel, described the destruction of the rollercoaster in excruciating detail, and repeatedly commented on how sad this place was without the laughter of children.

Um… hello? I’m sorry that this town has had one of its main sources of income destroyed. I also understand that you need to have a constant stream of new stories in order to hold peoples’ attention 24 hours a day. But could you maybe show me something real? There are people who live in these towns, people in pain, families and individuals that have had both their livelihoods and entire lives destroyed. And to inform me about this disaster, you’re showing me a tragically empty rollercoaster? Seriously?

Every time I watch the TV news, I get the weird feeling that I’m watching some kind of ongoing reality TV show. Oh here’s the inexperienced smooth-talking upstart, but can he beat the seasoned older man, full of wisdom and tragedy? Wait, now we have a beautiful woman on the scene! OMG! Did you see what she was wearing? And her daughter… oh, the scandal! Wait, look at this massive human tragedy, it’s destroyed — gasp! — an amusement park! Now cut to the scene of a train crash that killed thirty people, but oh wait! Season 12 of the OJ Simpson trial is on — clearly far more important.

Actually, scratch all of that. Truth is, I would much rather watch tonight’s episode of Project Runway than watch the news. At least on Runway it’s assumed that their drama is petty and fabricated for the benefit of the cameras, and the only thing at stake is which contestant Michael Kors will rip apart next. Call me an escapist if you like, I don’t mind. But I prefer my escapism pure, thank you, not with a badly tailored veneer of gravitas hung on it.

UPDATE: Sick of hearing about the economy yet again, this morning I turned my car radio to the BBC. Within five minutes, I learned the following things: a new Mozart piece has been rediscovered, worth $100,000; scientists have cataloged previously unrecorded forms of coral in Australia (plus I never realized just how amusing it is to hear someone with a British accent say “coral”); and Russia launched a test warhead capable of “putting a hole” into the US missile shield. Now that is what I call news!

When Sara Palin’s VP nomination was announced yesterday, I (and pretty much everyone else in the country) said, “Who?”

Like I usually do, I relied on NPR and friends to tell me what I needed to know. My dear husband, being the newshound that he is, decided to take it a step further. A lot further. In fact, he is currently taking a nap because he stayed up too late reading about Ms. Palin, and now is the leading expert on all things GOP VP nominee (or VPILF, as someone put it.)

I have to say, I’m starting to get a little jealous here. I mean come on — my husband stayed up all night getting to know another woman. He has repeatedly commented on how good-looking she is, and now knows pretty much all there is to know about her, including her children’s names and the multiple outdoor activities her and husband excel in.

I really don’t know how I feel about this state of affairs… especially if it means he’s going to vote Republican. Having a political crush is one thing, but that would be crossing the line. I’ll have to keep a careful wifely eye on this one…

I started this Olympiad with the best of intentions. Late last week, after a conversation with my mom about our shared discomfort with the whole affair, I decided (mostly on a whim) to boycott the Olympics. This was hardly an educated decision, mind you, just a gut reaction to various things I’d been hearing about how China was preparing itself and its citizens to fall under the global microscope. Call me a weekend warrior liberal if you’d like, but hey, my intentions were good.

Too bad good intentions turned out to be just about all I had. On Friday night, my husband quickly overcame any similar qualms he may have had and turned on the opening ceremonies about thirty seconds after they started. Things were already looking bad for my putative boycott — if our shared TV is tuned to the Olympics, who’s to tell that I’m not watching? I mean, should I go into the other room and tune that TV to CSI reruns, just to prove my point? No. I did manage to stay focused on my book during most of the overwhelming LED antics, but I have to admit, the costumes with the green lights on them were pretty cool. All kinds of ideas for Halloween…!

What really got me though, and what gets me every time, were the athletes themselves. As soon as they started marching out — faces gleaming, smiles radiant, bodies magnificent — my boycott was officially over. At that moment, I remembered why we watch the Olympics, why we have always loved and followed the Games, no matter what political objections we may have: we enjoy watching our fellow human beings transcend the limitations that bind us. These are the superhumans, the men and women who defy gravity and the frailty of the human body on a daily basis. They simultaneously remind us of our own weakness even as we live vicariously through their strength. Their faces echo hope, courage, confidence — traits our TV screens normally only portray as fiction.

From that moment onward, I was hooked. I have been watching the coverage on and off since then, even staying up past my bedtime for two nights running to watch the unbelievable, unflappable machine that is Michael Phelps. These are men and women at the top of their game, and they have prepared for this moment all their lives. It makes no sense to punish the athletes for the transgressions of the host country. They did not choose to compete in Beijing, it was chosen for them. They merely showed up to compete, because not doing so — whether for political, personal, or physical reasons — would have squandered four years of all-out training. Who am I to devalue their efforts by not giving them an audience?

To some, watching the Olympics might amount to tacit approval for the policies of the host country. And sure, I can see that. But that is what has always been so fascinating about the Olympics: they are symbolic of international politics, and yet they still manage to transcend them. On one level, the Olympics are about different nations meeting and competing, a safe, bloodless microcosm of global conflict. And yet they also show us the best of what it means to be human, no matter what race or nationality. Even if you resent the Chinese for stealing the gold away from us in women’s gymnastics last night, you still have to admire the skill and power that went into that feat.

So really, by watching the 2008 Olympics, I am only doing what is in my nature: I am paying tribute to those among us who strive to become more than human. By doing so, they remind us that boundaries are there to be transcended, be they physical, mental, or political.

I’m one of those unfortunate people who deal with times of great stress by sleeping less, not more. I’m also doomed to relieving that stress kinetically — not by eating, not by talking, but by moving. A lot. Thus I found myself at the gym far too early yesterday morning, attempting to operate complicated machinery (i.e. the elliptical) on only a half cup of coffee. Danger, Will Robinson, danger!

The real hazard, however, lay directly in front of me. About ten feet away from the cardio machines, located so that you cannot possibly avoid watching them, is a row of three TVs. I realize this is small compared to some gyms, but trust me — it’s a lot to handle for someone who has never watched much TV, especially when my defenses (read: caffeine levels) are down.

So there I was, in a weakened state, halfway watching CNN and some other news show while trying my best to wake up before yoga class. Both TVs were muted and had the captioning on, so I managed to switch back and forth between the two pretty well. (The third didn’t have the captions turned on, so I figured I was off the hook on that one.)

Towards the end of my workout, I lost track of the captions and decided to just watch the images instead. On the left, there was CNN, with a story about the troops in Iraq and a potential drawdown. On the other TV, there was a story about a movie premiere or awards show, showing quick clips of the stars on some red carpet or another.

Despite the huge difference in content, there was almost no way to determine the stories’ context using visuals alone. How was I supposed to know that Rob Lowe was any less of a priority than the soldiers? Even with the sound off, I could almost hear the serious music playing in the background and the anchors’ gravely earnest commentary, whether it be about troop withdrawal or Rob Lowe’s newest acting efforts.

After about thirty seconds, I was totally overwhelmed by the visual influx, which coincided nicely with the end of my workout. As I stepped gratefully off the machine, it occurred to me that in the modern media world, this is par for the course. People are always multitasking, fitting in the news wherever and whenever they can: at the gym, in the car, at the office. My husband, one of the most well-informed people I know, considers the idea of actually sitting down with a paper to be completely outdated. Why digest yesterday’s news in a sedate physical format when he can access Instapundit, well, instantly? No thank you.

To keep up, the media have to portray the news in a more and more frantic manner, and turn little things into huge blowouts when there’s nothing else to be discussed. (I know this is not a huge revelation, and has been stated elsewhere in much more eloquent form. Like I said, I’ve never really watched much TV, so it’s taken me a while to catch on.)

So the question is this: when everything is portrayed as a matter of life and death, how do you know which is which? More importantly, how do you pay attention long enough to access the stories that are neither spectacular nor good-looking, but just plain old hopeless and depressing?

The good news is that people are coming up with some fairly innovative ideas to combat the information overload. I’m thinking in particular of the partnership recently formed between Google Earth and the UNHCR, which will use Google’s satellite technology to raise awareness about refugees in Colombia, Iraq, and Chad.

At first, this effort struck me as hugely ironic. These are people who literally struggle for survival on a daily basis. To them, this technology and the people who will be using it are almost entirely theoretical and out of reach. How exactly is that supposed to help again?

That said, I do have to admire the reasoning here. As I found out in the gym, seeing pictures on the news just isn’t enough. No matter how graphic or moving they are, they flash on and off in an instant, and are immediately superseded by whoever happens to have a new movie/girlfriend/illegitimate child that week. By giving us an in-depth portrait of what it’s like to actually live in a refugee camp, perhaps this Google Earth initiative might reach past the numbness of a media weary populace and inspire action.

Maybe so, but the cynical part of me can’t help thinking that this new collaboration will only affect those who are already aware of the situation. Who else would sit down at their computer and seek out such thoroughly depressing statistics and photos? Surely it’s much easier and more entertaining to read People magazine online, or even Instapundit for that matter.

Probably, but you’ve got to start somewhere. Otherwise, people will continue to tune out, just like I did. They will jump off their elliptical machine in their safe, far away gym and go on to yoga class, wondering what the hell Rob Lowe had to do with troop withdrawals, anyway. Or was it Tom Cruise, or Brangelina? I can’t even remember now. Clearly, I’d better drink more coffee next time I go to the gym.

The Super Bowl may be done and over, but today is a whole different kind of super. It is Super Tuesday, or so they have been telling me repeatedly for the past oh, four or five months. Of course our state of California is one of the biggest prizes in that race, and I belong to one of the most wooed demographics in the country — a young woman between the ages of 18 and 34. Wow. No pressure there.

Above all though, my most important demographic quality as a voter is that I am still undecided. Don’t get me wrong — I know full well who I’m going to vote for, and I’m thrilled to do so. The problem for me is that it doesn’t really matter who wins or loses in today’s election. Yes, Obama uses his big boy words really well, whereas Hillary has problems with the whole “likability” thing. Plus I’m just not a big fan of her hair. But as my mom says, we are spoiled for riches in this primary. A woman and a black man? And across the aisle, a moderate Republican as the front runner, whose main task has been to woo the more conservative members of his party? I’m like a kid in a candy store.

Whatever happens today, I can look forward to casting my first positive vote in November’s election. This will be my third presidential election, and my first without George W. Bush as a candidate. In both of those general elections, my vote went against him, not for either Gore or Kerry. Come November, I will simply be happy to have someone to believe in, no matter what their exact personality, policies, or hair may be.

So on this Super Tuesday, I am most definitely super — thanks for asking.

This week I am housesitting for my parents, reveling in their quiet, lovely, well-stocked home that floats above the fog in the Santa Cruz mountains.

During a fit of insomnia last night (motivated mostly by the lightly-padded wooden decking that they call a mattress around here), I picked up the book Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. I did so because my Diana Gabaldon book was getting a bit too steamy to effectively lull me to sleep, but I soon became immersed this new book as well. That’s the problem with being a book junkie — there really is no such thing as a boring book. Or if there is, you can bet my mom doesn’t have it on her shelf of newly purchased hardbacks.

To summarize, Blink is about the following (taken from the author’s own website):

When you meet someone for the first time, or walk into a house you are thinking of buying, or read the first few sentences of a book, your mind takes about two seconds to jump to a series of conclusions. Well, “Blink” is a book about those two seconds, because I think those instant conclusions that we reach are really powerful and really important and, occasionally, really good.

Eventually I succeeded in putting the book down and fell asleep, but Gladwell’s message about the importance of gut instincts and first impressions followed me back into the daylight hours.

I used my longer commute today to catch up with the New Hampshire primary coverage on NPR. I have remained largely undecided in the presidential race, mainly because I don’t feel well enough educated about any one candidate or their beliefs to really back any of them. I have had strong leanings, but they are all based on absolutely nothing, and it makes me very uncomfortable to vote for our next President based solely on a gut feeling.

Until, that is, I heard a brief clip of Obama’s concession speech from last night. I have heard all the pundits remarking on how well-spoken he is, but I have tried my best not to be swayed by his honeyed phrases. They’re only as good as the people who scripted them, after all. But something about this particular speech gave me chills all up and down my back as I was driving. I can’t even name what it was, exactly, it was just… something more. Perhaps something great.

Now, I concede the point that he is very young and inexperienced. He is certainly no John McCain. I also admit that Obama has very little foreign policy experience during a time when foreign policy is often quite literally a matter of life or death. Oh yeah, and I happen to disagree with his vaguely condemning stance on gay marriage, and I’m not crazy about a few of the other finer points of his policy platform, either.

But try as I might, I just can’t help it: Obama made me blink. Whatever it was about those few seconds of his concession speech that I heard this morning, it got to me. I may yet succumb to a more reasoned judgment on Super Tuesday, but I doubt it. In the end, I am always a sucker for a well-turned phrase, an empassioned plea, the erudite candidate. And although there may be a million well-reasoned arguments against doing so, I will undoubtedly follow my gut instinct.

Let’s just hope, as Gladwell says, that this instant conclusion will be one of the “really good” ones.

UPDATED: A friend wrote to say:

Try this out….think you’ll enjoy it…gave me some much appreciated perspective on who I’m the most compatible with – like the old teen mag love match quizzes….but with scarier consequences.

I’ve taken a quiz like that before, and ended up with first Edwards and then Clinton! Apparently my gut holds entirely different political beliefs than my head…

Some time ago, David Horowitz appeared on Fox News to say that the university I graduated from is the worst school in America. While he acknowledged that we have first-class programs in astronomy and physics, he said that the real problem lies with the liberal arts colleges, which serve as “an indoctrination and recruitment center for far left ideologues.”

This week, those very ideologues climbed into trees during a protest over our long-term growth, threatening not to come down until said trees are saved from their impending doom. The protest, which started out peacefully, ultimately led to police violence and multiple arrests. Guess what led the front page of all the local papers the next day? Here’s a hint: it was neither an astronomer nor a physicist.

Quite simply, these developments break my heart. That is not my school, that is not representative of what I learned there or the people I know.

You see, this school is quite literally my alma mater. I spent the first ten or twelve years of my life on campus, playing amongst the redwoods during my father’s tenure as a professor. When it came time to apply to college, it was my top and only choice. Later, I fell in love with my husband while walking in the very same redwoods I loved as a child.

For all three decades of my life, this university has provided a solid base to the ever-changing patterns of my life. It was here that I learned how to think, question, write, and love. In other words, I learned how to be a human being.

During that time on this campus, I have encountered all kinds of other human beings, from card-carrying conservatives to computer geeks to dreadlocked individuals named Wind (no, really). Granted, there have been quite a few “far left ideologues,” and at certain points during my life I could have been grouped right along with them. But they are by no means in the majority. The campus population is large and extremely diverse, and there is no one way of characterizing everyone that it encompasses.

However, once there are pictures out there of police wielding batons against college students, that is all anyone sees. No matter that a number of people involved in the protest were not even affiliated with the university. Once the line is crossed, any chance at having a real dialogue is thrown out the window, and it becomes much easier to believe in characterizations like Horowitz’.

How can we possibly hope to change the stereotype of ourselves as a school for “far left ideologues” if that minority is the only one to make the front page of the newspaper? Where are the astronomers and physicists, the computer geeks and the conservatives? I have known them all, but only through a lifetime spent at this university. For those who are not as well acquainted, it is all too easy to use a broad brush to describe what is in truth a complex and varied community.

So I say shame on Horowitz for describing us in those terms, and shame on the protesters for giving him fodder to do so. If you have strong beliefs, by all means, stand up for them. But please, don’t express those beliefs in a way that devalues the hard work of everyone around you by reinforcing what is an already skewed image of our school.

So apparently I wasn’t the only one to hear that piece on NPR yesterday about the poor waitress not getting a tip from Hillary. It seems to have caused quite the uproar – surprise.

In response, the Clinton campaign hastily sent someone back to the restaurant to give Working Jane a $20 bill, apologizing profusely for not doing so before. (Nice save!) They also provided NPR with their credit card receipts from the day in question, showing that they had written a $100 tip onto the credit card bill for the entire staff to split.

The NPR reporter called Working Jane up again, who said that the credit card tip never reached her, and nothing was ever divided amongst the other staff. In response, the Clinton campaign said well actually, perhaps it was a $100 bill they left. Nice.

So it becomes a case of they-said she-said, with no one the wiser. However, somehow the person who came out looking the worst was the poor reporter, who was chastised on-air for not checking his facts with the campaign before the story was aired. Oooh, snap.

Either way, the damage is done as far as I’m concerned.

Another reality I’ve been waking up to recently is that we have a presidential primary in January. That is only two months away. Hmm.

For the past year, I have refused to get sucked in to the premature maelstrom of the presidential election, trying my best to ignore the various candidates. Now that the beginning of the real race is almost here, I guess it’s time to pay a little more attention.

One of the first things that struck me is not the difference between the candidates themselves, but rather the difference between all of the candidates and the people they claim to represent. The uproar over Edwards’ expensive haircuts and SUVs did reach past my self-imposed moratorium, but for me the hypocrisy goes a lot further than that.

Early this morning, I read an article comparing Jenna Bush and Chelsea Clinton (thanks again to BookForum). I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but apparently there was quite the uproar following 9/11 when Chelsea made a statement about the importance of service over earnings… never mind her own six-figure salary from various hedge funds, etc. Even worse, the article cites a guest interview Chelsea did with Jake Gyllenhall for Interview magazine. From what was included, most of their conversation was about their mutual acquaintances on Martha’s Vineyard, where the two had originally met.

OK, so we go from a girl who grew up vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard to her mother. Driving up to work, I heard a story on NPR about two regular Janes that had encountered Clinton and Obama on their respective treks through Iowa. Jane #1 served Clinton a sandwich at a restaurant, and discussed her impressions of the candidate. Clinton saw fit to use this woman, a single mother working two jobs, in her next speech. She did not, however, see the need to leave her a tip, nor did any of her entourage – even though their meal was on the house.

Working Jane is so used to raising two boys on her own while working two or three jobs at minimum wage that she no longer even questions it. Candidate Clinton raised a daughter who went to the best possible universities, vacationed on Martha’s Vineyard with movie stars, and now pulls in six figures (and hopes to earn more) when she is little older than myself.

I realize that I have no stones to throw myself, as I have always been a member of the privileged class and have never known true hardship in my life. But if I find it hard to empathize with Clinton, imagine what Working Jane feels, especially when her unwitting association with Clinton (whom her boss dislikes) ultimately forced her to look for a new second job.

Really – where is the disconnect here? You tell me.

“Treat history as a springboard, not as an anchor.”

- General John G. Medaris

When I Wrote It

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