I received this from my e-mail friend Gretchen:
- I owe John Edwards an apology. He has been correct all along. There are, apparently, at least two Americas — maybe not in the economic sense that Edwards has purported, but in an abstract political sense. Having just returned from five days in Boston, Massachusetts, I can affirm the duality of America.
In both the Tulsa airport and at Chicago O’Hare, where I had a layover, there were lounges for active duty military people and their families. One of my seat mates from Tulsa to Chicago was a Navy chaplain who is currently serving in Virginia. He said those lounges include television, free soft drinks and snacks, WiFi and comfortable chairs and sofas. Most of those who make use of the lounges are in uniform, but anyone with a military or a military dependent ID can use them. I know from previous travel that military lounges are in each of the terminals at DFW, as well, and that military personnel with orders to war zones are also granted free access to American Airlines Admiral’s Club at DFW and O’Hare — and maybe other airlines’ clubs, as well — but I am familiar only with AA.
Out of curiosity, I asked a gate agent at Boston Logan, when I arrived there if there was a lounge for military personnel and her response, literally, was, “Why would there be such a thing?” When I told her about the military lounges in Tulsa, DFW and O’Hare, she just shook her head. Also, although I cannot verify that the Admiral’s Club in Boston does not have the same policy for troops headed into or returning from war zones that the clubs at DFW and O’Hare have, I did note that there is no sign advising soldiers of their welcome to the club posted outside the Admiral’s Club at Logan — and such signs are prominently displayed in Dallas and Chicago.
Another two-Americas indication were the ads on TV and radio. Of course, I expected far more Democratic ads to be on Boston television since Massachusetts is overwhelmingly blue. Hillary had ads that played more often than any other. One of her ads included a young boy with diabetes, who thanked Senator Clinton effusively for her promise to “allow stem cell research, so he will be given a better chance to live.” (Bush has never “disallowed” stem cell research.)
What I didn’t expect, though, were numerous commercials depicting people who talk about how miserable their lives were before their heroes, Joe Kennedy and Hugo Chavez, defied the president and the greedy American oil companies and granted them low-cost heating oil, compliments of the generous Venezuelan government. Against a backdrop of shivering, sad-eyed New Englanders, Joe Kennedy hails the expression of kindness from a leader who understands the needs of suffering people. I am more than confident that Joe Kennedy’s ad would never be played in middle America.
I stayed at the Westin Hotel during part of my stay–a birthday gift from my son. It is a very nice hotel and the service was excellent…but while that particular hotel’s television programming included MSNBC, CNN and CNN Headline News, FoxNews was omitted. When I asked the desk clerk why FoxNews was not part of the hotel’s cable lineup, he told me that only limited channels could be offered–no other explanation. The Golf Channel, two ESPN channels, TNT and 20 or so other channels were offered–but there was no room for FoxNews.
Anyway…I’m home and although I had a wonderful Christmas with my son and his wife and his extended family, I’m glad that he no longer lives in Boston and I am delighted to be back in MY kind of America.