My passion for dining out has become legendary. I keep meaning to put together a restaurant guide, especially now since Zagat has decided to stop publishing
their Houston version (their reviews were off the mark as often as not, but they did have name recognition). The Thursday Night Dining Club tried a few years
back to post our reviews online, but, sadly, we didn’t persist in our efforts, even though they were favorably received. We may revive the
project in the future, but for now I shall try to jot down a few notes about the new places I try.

After working at a client’s business yesterday for 6 hours (4.5 hours longer than planned, and no lunch, with just an hour before call at Opera in the Height). I
took my papers and stopped at Vung Thai Cafe (1714 West Loop N, (713) 868-3551), a little Thai place in a strip center I had seen when I had gone through the
adjacent Whataburger the previous Saturday. Had the Thom Ka Gai (coconut-milk-based chicken soup – very good flavor, just the right level of spiceiness, lots of
chicken and mushrooms), Ginger Chicken (also nice), and Thai Iced Tea (a cousin of Vietnamese Iced Coffee). A great meal on a day I hadn’t eaten at all, and for
$13 very fairly priced.

Where were the Florence protestors when Iraq invaded Kuwait? Where was their moral outrage when the Serbs overran Srebenicia? Where were their howls of
indignation at the slaughter in Rwanda?

As for their original reason for being in Firenze, might I suggest a book for reading between the hackey-sack playing and the pot-smoking (forgive me for
stereotyping, but this is what I saw of the anit-WEF folks who were camped out in the Heldnplatz in Vienna in July 2001 before they went to Salzburg): take a
look at The Choice by Professor Russell Roberts of Washington University in St. Louis. It’s
kind of a cross between international trade theory and “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I highly recommend it.

James Carville and Paul Begala, speaking on Crossfire as the election results showed the Rs winning across the board, said the problem with the Ds was that they
had accomodated George W. too much, and that the party would have done better had it been more confrontational.

I think they’re wrong.

The Rs won because they received more of the centerist, independent voters (I may or may not expound on why they did this later). Messrs. Carville and Begala
suggest going further left as a cure? On the contrary, the Dems should try to go more to the center, especially if the Rs misinterpret the election result as a
mandate for the far right. If the Rs go off the deep right end, and the Ds reclaim the middle, you could see a complete swing the other way in 2004. If both the
Rs and the Ds head away from the middle, we could see another indpendent movement
? la Perot ’92 emrge.