You do a great job. One minor point: S.F. may be confusing about its street #s but all over New England the problem is roads that change names with little or nothing by the way of signs. For example, in Bloomfield CT at the key intersection Bloomfield Ave. becomes Tunxis Ave.; Mountain Ave. becomes Park Ave. If you look hard, you might find a street sign.
One major point: there’s a real question, I fear, if a successful democracy can exist in a country that has no history of free speech, women’s rights, etc., and where unemployment among young uneducated males is high. And this seems particularly true in the Muslim world. The British Empire has often been criticized but in many countries when the British left, they left a stable democracy behind because they had time it introduce it. India is probably the best example. The story of how this country became an independent democracy is really an extraordinary one that probably never could be repeated. Of course, corruption in Congress is not new to the 21st century – it has come and gone.
Your thought that it’s time for another liberal resurgence is encouraging and fascinating. One really wonders what the hell is going on in Bush’s mind, most of the time – if anything.