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QUOTATION: People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing. - Walter H. Judd

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2005-01-13 - 9:56 p.m.

Ballots and Boycotts
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

Published: January 13, 2005

As usual Thomas Friedman tells it like it is…

… the least bad option right now for the U.S. is to forge ahead with the elections - unless the Iraqi Shiites ask for a postponement - and focus all of America's energies not on appeasing the fascist insurgents, but on moderating the Shiites and Kurds, who are sure to dominate the voting.

Postponing the elections in Iraq would only prolong the insurgency (or shall we be honest and call it the civil war it has already become?) The real title of this should article probably should have been Ballots, Boycotts and Bombs!

* * * * * * *

While I'm continuing to read about all things political, I'm taking some time out writing about it, while I finish my memoirs and get them edited (finally!).

Yesterday I phoned a woman who lived with us in 1947. She and my sister had been penpals before the war - Jackie living in Paris and my sister, Jean, living on our farm in the state of Washington. Jean recalls that Jackie, who must have been in the 9th grade, wrote letters, telling of having servants, a two-car garage, etc., so Jean, not wanting to be outdone, embellished and made our little farm quite grand, also.

In 1947, Jackie wrote asking if we would sponsor her to come to the United States to go to college. She lived with us in our by then much grander home in Tacoma, and got a job going door to door, giving out samples of Wonder Bread. We found it interesting that she thought Wonder Bread fabulous, coming as she did from a country with such great bread!

She married a young man from Bolivia. Yesterday when I phoned their home, she was out swimming, but I had a long chat with her husband. I remember Jackie as effervescent, on the run from one activity to another, and always just a bit late. While I saw Jackie and her family of three children often when we lived in New Orleans in the late 60's, I find it difficult now to think of her as an 80+ year old woman.

Her husband tells me she still teaches French in their language school and leads tour groups in N. O. I guess I'm probably not far off imagining her still as active, harried and hurried as ever. In all of these fifty plus years, I have never seen a loaf of Wonder Bread without thinking of Jackie.

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