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Liberal, Ultra Liberal, etc.

When did being called a liberal or, God forbid, an ultra liberal get to be a bad thing? Why is it such an insult and candidates run away from being called that? According to Webster's, liberal means "1. giving freely; generous. 2. more than enough or than might be expected. 3. open to new ideas; broad-minded; tolerant. 4. broad in range; not limited. 5. in favor of reform or progress in politics or religion. n. a person who is in favor of reform and progress.

Wouldn't you think being called a liberal would be a good thing? Why have we let the Republicans make it into something bad? Why

Oh six

There's nothing like a trek through the Andes to get help you get your head on straight. That's where I've been over the past ten days. No internet. No phones. No news. No Bush. No lottery. No war. No North Carolina.

It was a blessed break from all of the things that have come to occupy my life and my mind 24/7 for the past few years.

Most of my Peruvian encounters involved people living on the edge . . . in conditions we'd all consider intolerable. Outdoor toilets, cooking with wood, eating guinea pigs that scurry around the kitchen. Moving rocks, digging holes, planting potatoes and corn. Herding llamas.

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