In Tom’s town

Hello from Charlottesville, Virginia. I’m taking a few days off from the travel whirlwind to visit with relatives, including my aunt who is a bit of a cooperative spirit. She was a co-founder of the McGuffey Art Center, which converted the old elementary school into an artists cooperative with shared a central gallery and the classrooms converted into studios. She also co-authored a book with “Fourteen Friends” on taking care of elders. Even I wouldn’t try to write a book with that big of a committee.

This morning I woke up, looked out the window, and there was Monticello in the distance. Thomas Jefferson’s old pad, first thing in the morning. Quite inspiring. Jefferson happens to be my favorite founder because he was one of the most libertarian of the bunch. He even had this wild idea that no law should remain in effect for longer than half the current life-expectancy because at that point half of the population hadn’t been born to vote on it and half the folks who had been given the chance to vote for it were dead. Plus his house was fun-ky.

After the Monticello moment, I had probably my most leisurely morning in years – so leisurely that it lasted until about 3pm – which included getting caught up with two long-lost friends thanks to the near-magical powers of Facebook. I really hate to give product endorsements for non-cooperative outfits, but wow. Then I took advantage of the first really nice weather of the trip and rode my cousin’s bike around for an hour, with bonus stop to ponder the woods and the gorgeous hawks that were buzzing me for some reason.

It actually feels a bit like…dare I say it?…vacation. Gasp!

Ooh. Better get back to work.

Having felt the Jefferson vibe, I think it might be time to dip my toe in the ol’ political pool and see how the new Fearless Leader is doing. So far, he’s approximately as savvy and sensible as I expected.

However, I’m not pleased to see that the US is still sending missiles into Pakistan. This is incompatible with any sense of justice since it skips any sort of trial and almost always harms innocents, and incompatible with the national interest for that same reason, and incompatible with Obama’s claim that the “war on terror” as Bush defined it is over. I suspect that Mr. Jefferson is rolling in his grave.

So far there hasn’t been much concrete on the financial bailout, although there are vague mutterings about accountability and transparency. It seems like the best way to address this is to stop shifting money to the investor-owned banks and instead reward the credit unions; they have been much better stewards of their resources, and are naturally accountable and transparent, to boot.

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