Ok...on to posting. I see that Nazh has covered a buncha stuff pre-Thai so I'll skip some of that and go to important news of the day.
Oh...don't worry. In future posts, I'll get to John Bolton not being confirmed as Ambassador to the U.N. (shame on Lincoln Chafee - I'm so HAPPY he's no longer going to be in the Senate and taking GOP election year money that could go to worthy Senatorial candidates).
I'll also get to the Middle East and to Iraq in particular. In short -> We need to send more troops to Iraq in the short term and will need to deal with Syria and Iran in the long term (either direct militarily or indirect a la funding resistance fighters to bring down the regimes). However I agree somewhat with Nazh in that it doesn't look like Bush has much maneuvering room given the current political climate and the fact that the MSM (Mainstream Media) are enthusiastically cheering AGAINST the U.S. in this war ( I guess anyway to get back at Bush for refusing to let Al Gore steal an election is fine to them - even if it means losing a war and the allies, prestige and influence that go with such a loss - not to mention the future loss of American life when the terrorists do finally come here again.). This means the MSM can craft what message the average joe receives each day. Tell a lie often enough and it becomes the truth. Like the no WMD's even thoguh we found 500 tons of uranium in Iraq (more on that in future posts).
No... the BIG news of the day is courtesy of none other than Gwynneth Paltrow !!!
The story can be found here;
According to Ms. Paltrow (or is it Mrs. Martin?) she prefers dinner talk in Britain over that which can be found in the U.S.
Quote Ms. Paltrow (I'm sticking with her screen name);
"I love the English lifestyle, it's not as capitalistic as America. People don't talk about work and money, they talk about interesting things at dinner"
Ms. Paltrow has an open invitation to come to dinner at my house where I can assure her we don't talk about money or work at the table. We do engage in the issues of the day (political, social, psychological, scientific, sports-related, etc...) but any mention of work and money is covered before we sit down to eat. Just last week we discussed the "Super String" and "Chaos" theories and also the "Uncaused - First Cause" which is thought to have caused the "Big Bang" (was it God or some other outside force?). Would Ms. Paltrow find this "interesting" table conversation? Who knows? she won't tell us the criterion by which she deems dinner conversation to equal her lofty standards.
She did leave us with this gem though;
"I like living here because I don't fit into the bad side of American psychology. The British are much more intelligent and civilized than the Americans"
Now I'll admit that our British brothers and sisters in our Mother Country (we were their colonial subjects at one time after all) do speak our language with more aplomb than us Americans do. In fact, I've seen the English language split up into "UK" and "American" when selecting an audio language on my recent trip to Hungary. And just as some people ignorantly believe that if you speak with a Southern accent and talk a bit slower that you are less-intelligent, these same types of people equate an English-accent with intelligence. I can tell you that I've known a few Brits during my 37 years on this Earth and while I have great respect for many of their intellects, there are quite a few others that, while seeming intelligent, are just empty shells. Sorta like John Kerry, only closer to actually being a Continental European that Kerry could ever hope to be. So, in my estimation, the Brits are just as intelligent as their American cousins across the Atlantic. No more or less. As far as being civilized, that is in the eye of the beholder. The Brits have quite a few centuries on us in terms of civilization but I'll still rank our 200+ years up against anyone's.
Ok that aside...I think what Ms. Paltrow is really trying to say is that she thinks America (you know - the ENTIRE country) is like the small sliver of America that she grew up in.
What gall !!!
As if growing up in HOLLYWOOD, the child of two famous parents (Actress Blyther Danner and Producer Bruce Paltrow) is any reflection of what real-life in America is all about???!!!!
I'm sure Ms. Paltrow thinks that talking about work and money is beneath her but please excuse the rest of flyover America for not being born with a silver foot in their mouth (A nod to Ann Richards for her insult of Bush that I just lifted).
Yes, work and money are discussed a bit more frequently in homes like mine because people like me work 60-80 hour weeks all year long. We don't work for 5-6 weeks and then have months off at a time because we just made millions in those few short weeks.
We don't have personal assistants who handle all the mundane tasks for us. We do them all !! Right down to babysitting our own kids, changing their diapers, going to the Pharmacy to get our prescriptions filled and making sure the dog's waste is picked up off the lawn.
We don't have managers to keep reminding us of where we need to be on any given day. We make do with our Blackberry's ( -- > nope we bought them ourselves, they weren't part of some $25,000 gift basket for hosting the Oscars or something ridiculous like that) and our calendars and if need-be we simply REMEMBER WHAT WE NEEDED TO DO !!!
Yes, if the rest of non-Hollywood America had a life like Ms. Paltrow I'm sure they'd think of other things to talk about at home as well.
Now, Ms. Paltrow... who enjoyed a privileged life growing up (and who has married a rock star no less) ... is living in a very chic part of England. I guess from her lofty, alabaster tower she can't see the little people toiling away in England either. She's taking the cue from other Hollywood elites in bashing America when its easy to do so.
Far easier to basically shit on America when you're in London - Ms. Paltrow. Try mustering up that disdain for Americans and your backbone when you're talking to decent "salt-of-the-earth" people who happen to live in Nowhere, USA but in fact lead more noble lives than Ms. Paltrow can ever dream to lead.
Perhaps if Ms. Paltrow wasn't so convinced she was our cultural "better" she'd see that people all around this great country are more intelligent and civilized than she realizes. But that would be too much for an elitist snob who believes that the rest of us are meant to carry her around on our shoulders, because... you know... she's Gwynneth Paltrow !!!
No matter. Given Ms. Paltrow's disdain for this country and her cowardice in bashing it overseas, I will hereafter refuse to see another movie, TV show, stage production, etc... that she appears in. I will also find out the sponsors of the productions she appears in and I will not support them by buying their products.
Stars get hyper about "censorship" when they stick their feet in their mouths and the public turns on them and refuses to patronize their work. The Dixie Chicks received a nice helping of it. Other stars have as well. This is not "censorship" but the marketplace working as it should. Hollywood Stars such as Ms. Paltrow have gotten extremely wealthy due the average fan plunking down money to go see them in whatever endeavor they are appearing in. When such stars disrespect these same fans and what they believe, the fans have EVERY right to refuse to let that dollar slip from their pocket into that entertainer's. Why should the fan..who works 60-80 hours a week sometimes and works all year long, support the obscenely wealthy lifestyle of an snob who looks down their nose at them? Why pay that $9 for a movie ticket so that Ms. Paltrow can continue jet-setting around the world and vacationing for weeks in the Caribbean (or wherever rich, spoiled, ignorant snobs vacation)??
No. Ms. Paltrow, gets not one more penny from me. Not until she comes to dinner at my house and has to not only defend her actions but try to keep up with the conversations we have. You see, if she didn't like what was talked about at the table, perhaps its not the country she's currently dining in, but her dinner companions instead.
Of course...what do I know? Apparently my social better, Ms. Paltrow, thinks me unintelligent and uncivilized.
You be the judge.