I just returned today from a visit to Florida in the Orlando and Gainesville areas. I've never seen so much public political jockeying going on in public in my life. Billboards screamed "Help Fight Terrorism: Get the US out of the UN," "Heartbeat at 3 Weeks, Brain waves at 6 weeks: Life begins at conception," a picture of a revolver with its barrel tied in a knot claiming "The real UN agenda." These billboards were interspersed with ads for the Cafe Risque shouting "WE BARE ALL" and fireworks (which are quite powerful in Fla., especially for a Penna kid like me where everything but sparklers are technically banned). The radio dial held two full-time right-wing political FM stations broadcasting the usual suspects of hate radio. I also had the distinction of being in the state during the Schiavo controversy as I flew in the day her feeding tube was removed. At Mass Sunday (Roman Catholic) during the Intercession, the priest invoked the name of Schiavo and I think I know what he was getting at. I met a few college students who had opinions on the case but either way didn't appear to know any of the key facts. I imagine the folks (idiots) who were trying to take glasses of water to Schiavo didn't either, because they would have drowned her with them. For me, political advertising is totally alien. Unless there's an election afoot, you see no signs of anyone's political persuasion save an expired bumper sticker here and there. Right-wing radio is confined to AM. Pennsylvania -- even my little conservative county of Lancaster -- overall appears more tempered and moderate. Political themes are kept to the election season and are kept fairly low-key. Why this all-out battle for the hearts and minds of Florida's population?