August 17-24, 2008
A nice Bangkok sunset as seen from River Garden.
Another uneventful Bangkok day! But, the view was nice ... as seen from The Peninsula Hotel. You can see the setting sun as reflected in the windows of The Oriental Hotel in one photograph. In the other photograph you can see the full moon passing from behind the State Tower.
Do you remember how cluttered was the roof of River City ... over populated with bronze statues of everything? Now it is a locked wasteland.
But, down below on the main trading floor everything reads "BUSY".
I love Maureen Dowd. This is her piece in today's New York Times.
Two Against The One
In the dead of night in a small hideaway office in the deserted Capitol, a clandestine meeting takes place between two senators with one goal.
They grin at each other as they lift their celebratory shots of brutally cold Stolichnaya.
"Our toast to The One," they say in unison, "is that he's toast."
"Obama should have picked you, Hillary," John McCain tells her. "It isn't fair, my friend. But it just makes it easier for me to whup him."
"Don't worry, John, I've put it behind me," Hillary replies. "I'm looking toward the future now, a future that looks very bright, once we send Twig Legs back to the back bench."
They chortle with delight.
"He's a bright young man, but he got ahead of himself," McCain says. "He needs to be taught a lesson, and we're the ones to do it. Have you seen the new Bloomberg poll? Obama's dropped and we're even again. The Bullet's getting all the credit, but you and I know, Hillary, that it's these top-secret counseling sessions we're having. And thanks again for BlackBerrying me the Rick Warren questions while I was in the so-called cone of silence."
"Oh, John, you know I love you and I'm happy to help," Hillary says. "The themes you took from me are working great – painting Obama as an elitist and out-of-touch celebrity, when we're rich celebrities, too. Turning his big rallies and pretty words into character flaws, charging him with playing the race card – that one always cracks me up. And accusing the media, especially NBC, of playing favorites. It's easy to get the stupid press to navel-gaze; they're so insecure."
"They're all pinko Commies," McCain laughs. "Especially since they deserted me for The Messiah. Seriously, Hill, that Paris-Britney ad you came up with was brilliant. I owe you."
Looking pleased, Hillary expertly downs another shot. "His secret fear is being seen as a dumb blonde," she says. "He wants to take a short cut to the top and pose on glossy magazine covers, but he doesn't want to be seen as a glib pretty boy."
McCain lifts his glass to her admiringly. "If I do say so myself, while the rookie was surfing in Hawaii, I ate his pupus for lunch. Pictures of him pushing around a golf ball while I'm pushing around Putin. Priceless."
"I have a little secret to tell you about that, John. Bill made it happen. He loves you so much. He called Putin and told him that if he invaded Georgia, he could count on being invited to the Clinton Global Initiative every year for the rest of his life."
"Wow. Should I call him? I saw your husband's kind words about me in Las Vegas on Monday, saying I'd be just as good as Obama on climate change."
"I think he'd like that," Hillary smiles. "He's still boiling at Obama. And you don't have to worry about my army of angry women. We've spread the word in the feminist underground – as opposed to that wacky Obama Weather Underground – that 'catharsis' is code for 'No surrender.' My gals know when I say 'We may have started on two separate paths but we're on one journey now' that Skinny's journey is to the nearest exit."
"But Obama's says he's finally ready to hit back," McCain says, frowning. "He's starting a blistering TV campaign and attacking me for attacking his patriotism."
"Now, John, you know that every time he tries to get tough, he quickly runs out of gas. Sometimes in debates, he'd be exhausted by the third question. He must use up all his energy in the gym. He doesn't have any stamina, and he certainly doesn't have our bloodlust. Besides, you can throw that Mark Penn stuff at him that I couldn't use in a Democratic primary about how he's not fundamentally American in his thinking and values. While he's up on his high-minded pedestal, you'll scoot past him in your Ferragamos."
"How can I ever thank you, my friend?"
"You can announce that you won't be running for re-election because you'd be 76, and you can pick somebody really lame to run with, like your pal Lieberman. That means one term for you, and two for me."
"It's a deal," McCain says, sticking out his hand to shake on it. "That was inspired to snatch his convention away – makes him look so weak. Listen, why don't you stop in Sedona on the way to Denver? Wear a black wig and I'll spirit you up to the cabin for the night. I'll catch a catfish in the mill pond and grill it for you. It will be an adventure." There's a knock on the door. Jesse Jackson sticks his head into the meeting.
"Is it over?" he asks his co-conspirators.
"Yes, he's over," they respond in unison.
PS: Is this the real one?
BELOIT COLLEGE RELEASES ANNUAL MINDSET LIST FOR THE ENTERING COLLEGE CLASS OF 2012
Beloit, Wis. — This month, almost 2 million first-year students will head off to college campuses around the country. Most of them will be about 18 years old, born in 1990 when headlines sounded oddly familiar to those of today: Rising fuel costs were causing airlines to cut staff and flight schedules; Big Three car companies were facing declining sales and profits; and a president named Bush was increasing the number of troops in the Middle East in the hopes of securing peace. However, the mindset of this new generation of college students is quite different from that of the faculty about to prepare them to become the leaders of tomorrow.
Each August for the past 11 years, Beloit College in Beloit, Wis., has released the Beloit College Mindset List. It provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college. It is the creation of Beloit's Keefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride and Public Affairs Director Ron Nief. The List is shared with faculty and with thousands who request it each year as the school year begins, as a reminder of the rapidly changing frame of reference for this new generation.
The class of 2012 has grown up in an era where computers and rapid communication are the norm, and colleges no longer trumpet the fact that residence halls are "wired" and equipped with the latest hardware. These students will hardly recognize the availability of telephones in their rooms since they have seldom utilized landlines during their adolescence. They will continue to live on their cell phones and communicate via texting. Roommates, few of whom have ever shared a bedroom, have already checked out each other on Facebook where they have shared their most personal thoughts with the whole world.
It is a multicultural, politically correct and "green" generation that has hardly noticed the threats to their privacy and has never feared the Russians and the Warsaw Pact.
Students entering college for the first time this fall were generally born in 1990.
For these students, Sammy Davis Jr., Jim Henson, Ryan White, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Freddy Krueger have always been dead.
See also previous lists from 2007 - 2006 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2000.
What's with all this food and weather? Am I bored?
Sacred and secular architecture share the same sky.
Yikes! I only got my 'text' some eight to ten hours AFTER the VP news broke on CNN. Can I get a refund on my donation?
I have some important news that I want to make official.
I've chosen Joe Biden to be my running mate.
Joe and I will appear for the first time as running mates this afternoon in Springfield, Illinois -- the same place this campaign began more than 19 months ago.
I'm excited about hitting the campaign trail with Joe, but the two of us can't do this alone. We need your help to keep building this movement for change.
Please let Joe know that you're glad he's part of our team. Share your personal welcome note and we'll make sure he gets it:
Thanks for your support,
P.S. -- Make sure to turn on your TV at 2:00 p.m. Central Time to join us or watch online at http://www.BarackObama.com.
More of the sacred (*); I'll do more of the secular tomorrow.
* Wat Suan Plu.
Next: Part IV