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Above email address currently deprecated! Use gary underscore farber at yahoodotcom, pliz! Sanely free of McCarthyite calling anyone a traitor since 2001!
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I've a long record in editorial work in book and magazine publishing, starting 1974, a variety of other work experience, but have been, since 2001, recurringly housebound with insanely painful sporadic and unpredictably variable gout and edema, and in the past, other ailments; the future? The Great Unknown: isn't it for all of us?
I'm currently house/cat-sitting, not on any government aid yet (or mostly ever), often in major chronic pain from gout and edema, which variably can leave me unable to walk, including just standing, but sometimes is better, and is freaking unpredictable at present; I also have major chronic depression and anxiety disorders; I'm currently supported mostly by your blog donations/subscriptions; you can help me. I prefer to spread out the load, and lessen it from the few who have been doing more than their fair share for too long.
Thanks for any understanding and support. I know it's difficult to understand. And things will change. They always change.
I'm sometimes available to some degree as a paid writer, editor, researcher, or proofreader. I'm sometimes available as a fill-in Guest Blogger at mid-to-high-traffic blogs that fit my knowledge set.
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"The brain is wider than the sky, For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include With ease, and you beside"
-- Emily Dickinson
"We will pursue peace as if there is no terrorism and fight terrorism as if there is no peace."
-- Yitzhak Rabin
"I have thought it my duty to exhibit things as they are, not as they ought to be."
-- Alexander Hamilton
"The stakes are too high for government to be a spectator sport."
-- Barbara Jordan
"Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to
trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule --
and both commonly succeed, and are right."
-- H. L. Mencken
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
-- William Pitt
"The only completely consistent people are the dead."
-- Aldous Huxley
"I have had my solutions for a long time; but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them."
-- Karl F. Gauss
"Whatever evils either reason or declamation have imputed to extensive empire,
the power of Rome was attended with some beneficial consequences to mankind;
and the same freedom of intercourse which extended the vices, diffused likewise
the improvements of social life."
-- Edward Gibbon
"Augustus was sensible that mankind is governed by names; nor was he deceived in his
expectation, that the senate and people would submit to slavery, provided they were
respectfully assured that they still enjoyed their ancient freedom."
-- Edward Gibbon
"There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify
the evils, of the present times."
-- Edward Gibbon
"Our youth now loves luxuries. They have bad manners, contempt for authority.
They show disrespect for elders and they
love to chatter instead of exercise.
Children are now tyrants, not the servants, of their households. They
no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents,
chatter before company, gobble up their food, and tyrannize
"Before impugning an opponent's motives, even when they legitimately may be impugned, answer his arguments."
-- Sidney Hook
"Idealism, alas, does not protect one from ignorance, dogmatism, and foolishness."
-- Sidney Hook
"Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"We take, and must continue to take, morally hazardous actions to preserve our civilization.
We must exercise our power. But we ought neither to believe that a nation is capable of perfect
disinterestedness in its exercise, nor become complacent about particular degrees of interest
and passion which corrupt the justice by which the exercise of power is legitimized."
-- Reinhold Niebuhr
"Faced with the choice of all the land without a Jewish state or a Jewish state without all the
land, we chose a Jewish state without all the land."
-- David Ben-Gurion
"...the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him
an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this
or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages
to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right; that it tends also
to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing,
with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess
and conform to it;[...] that the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion
and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty....
-- Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, Thomas Jefferson
"We don't live just by ideas. Ideas are part of the mixture of customs and practices,
intuitions and instincts that make human life a conscious activity susceptible to
improvement or debasement. A radical idea may be healthy as a provocation;
a temperate idea may be stultifying. It depends on the circumstances. One of the most
tiresome arguments against ideas is that their 'tendency' is to some dire condition --
to totalitarianism, or to moral relativism, or to a war of all against all."
-- Louis Menand
"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."
-- Dante Alighieri
"He too serves a certain purpose who only stands and cheers."
-- Henry B. Adams
"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the
poor to beg in the streets, steal bread, or sleep under a bridge."
-- Anatole France
"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
-- Edmund Burke
"Education does not mean that we have become certified experts in business or mining or botany or journalism or epistemology;
it means that through the absorption of the moral, intellectual, and esthetic inheritance of the race we have come to
understand and control ourselves as well as the external world; that we have chosen the best as our associates both in spirit
and the flesh; that we have learned to add courtesy to culture, wisdom to knowledge, and forgiveness to understanding."
-- Will Durant
"Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is
but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest
winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?"
-- Herman Melville
"The most important political office is that of the private citizen."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"It is an error to suppose that books have no influence; it is a slow influence, like flowing water carving out a canyon,
but it tells more and more with every year; and no one can pass an hour a day in the society of sages and heroes without
being lifted up a notch or two by the company he has kept."
-- Will Durant
"When you write, you’re trying to transpose what you’re thinking into something that is less like an annoying drone and more like a piece of music."
-- Louis Menand
"Sex is a continuum."
-- Gore Vidal
"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should
make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state."
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, 1802.
"The sum of our religion is peace and unanimity, but these can scarcely stand unless we define as little as possible,
and in many things leave one free to follow his own judgment, because there is great obscurity in many matters, and
man suffers from this almost congenital disease that he will not give in when once a controversy is started, and
after he is heated he regards as absolutely true that which he began to sponsor quite casually...."
-- Desiderius Erasmus
"Are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule of what we are to read, and what we must disbelieve?"
-- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to N. G. Dufief, Philadelphia bookseller, 1814
"We are told that it is only people's objective actions that matter, and their subjective feelings are of no importance. Thus pacifists, by obstructing the war effort,
are 'objectively' aiding the Nazis; and therefore the fact that they may be personally hostile to Fascism is irrelevant. I have been guilty of saying this myself more than once. The same argument is applied to Trotskyism. Trotskyists are often credited, at any rate by Communists, with being active and conscious agents of Hitler; but when you point out the many and obvious reasons why this is unlikely to be true,
the 'objectively' line of talk is brought forward again. To criticize the Soviet Union helps Hitler: therefore 'Trotskyism is Fascism'. And when this has been established, the accusation of conscious treachery is usually repeated.
This is not only dishonest; it also carries a severe penalty with it. If you disregard people's motives, it becomes much harder to foresee their actions."
-- George Orwell, "As I Please," Tribune, 8 December 1944
"Wouldn't this be a great world if insecurity and desperation made us more attractive? If 'needy' were a turn-on?"
-- "Aaron Altman," Broadcast News
"The great thing about human language is that it prevents us from sticking to the matter at hand."
-- Lewis Thomas
"To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to be ever a child. For what is man's lifetime unless the memory of past events is woven with those of earlier times?"
"Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it."
-- Samuel Johnson, Life Of Johnson
"Very well, what did my critics say in attacking my character? I must read out their affidavit, so to speak, as though they were my legal accusers: Socrates is guilty of criminal meddling, in that he inquires into things below the earth and in the sky, and makes the weaker argument defeat the stronger, and teaches others to follow his example."
-- Socrates, via Plato, The Republic
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, represents, in the final analysis, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower
"The term, then, is obviously a relative one; my pedantry is your scholarship, his reasonable accuracy, her irreducible minimum of education, & someone else's ignorance."
-- H. W. Fowler
"Rules exist for good reasons, and in any art form the beginner must learn them and understand what they are for, then follow them for quite a while. A visual artist, pianist, dancer, fiction writer, all beginning artists are in the same boat here: learn the rules, understand them, follow them. It's called an apprenticeship. A mediocre artist never stops following the rules, slavishly follows guidelines, and seldom rises above mediocrity. An accomplished artist internalizes the rules to the point where they don't have to be consciously considered. After you've put in the time it takes to learn to swim, you never stop to think: now I move my arm, kick, raise my head, breathe. You just do it. The accomplished artist knows what the rules mean, how to use them, dodge them, ignore them altogether, or break them. This may be a wholly unconscious process of assimilation, one never articulated, but it has taken place."
-- Kate Wilhelm
"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed."
-- Albert Einstein
"The decisive moment in human evolution is perpetual."
-- Franz Kafka, Aphorisms
"All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
-- Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho
"First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you."
-- Nicholas Klein, May, 1919, to the Third Biennial Convention of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (misattributed to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1914 & variants).
"Our credulity is a part of the imperfection of our natures. It is inherent in us to desire to generalize, when we ought, on the contrary, to guard ourselves very carefully from this tendency."
-- Napoleon I of France.
"The truth is, men are very hard to know, and yet, not to be deceived, we must judge them by their present actions, but for the present only."
-- Napoleon I of France.
"The barbarous custom of having men beaten who are suspected of having important secrets to reveal must be abolished. It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile. The poor wretches say anything that comes into their mind and what they think the interrogator wishes to know."
-- On the subject of torture, in a letter to Louis Alexandre Berthier (11 November 1798), published in Correspondance Napoleon edited by Henri Plon (1861), Vol. V, No. 3606, p. 128
"All living souls welcome whatever they are ready to cope with; all else they ignore, or pronounce to be monstrous and wrong, or deny to be possible."
-- George Santayana, Dialogues in Limbo (1926)
"If you should put even a little on a little, and should do this often, soon this too would become big."
-- Hesiod, Work And Days
"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."
-- Eugene V. Debs
"Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself."
-- Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
"All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written "al-Qaida," in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies."
-- Osama bin Laden
"Remember, Robin: evil is a pretty bad thing."
Gary Farber is now a licensed Quintuple Super-Sekrit Multi-dimensional Master Pundit.
He does not always refer to himself in the third person.
He is presently single.
The gefilte fish is dead. Donate via the donation button on the top left or I'll shoot this cutepanda. Don't you lovepandas?
Current Total # of Donations Since 2002: 1181
Subscribers to date at $5/month: 100 sign-ups; 91 cancellations; Total= 9
Supporter subscribers to date at $25/month: 16 sign-ups; 10 cancellation; Total= 6
Patron subscribers to date at $50/month: 20 sign-ups; 13 cancellations; Total= 7
...writer[s] I find myself checking out repeatedly when I'm in the mood to play follow-the-links. They're not all people I agree with all the time, or even most of the time, but I've found them all to be thoughtful writers, and that's the important thing, or should be.
-- Tom Tomorrow
I bow before the shrillitudinousness of Gary Farber, who has been blogging like a fiend.
-- Ted Barlow, Crooked Timber
Favorite.... [...] ...all great stuff. [...] Gary Farber should never be without readers.
I usually read you and Patrick several times a day, and I always get something from them. You've got great links, intellectually honest commentary, and a sense of humor. What's not to like?
-- Ted Barlow
One of my issues with many poli-blogs is the dickhead tone so many bloggers affect to express their sense of righteous indignation. Gary Farber's thoughtful leftie takes on the world stand in sharp contrast with the usual rhetorical bullying. Plus, he likes "Pogo," which clearly attests to his unassaultable good taste.
Jaysus. I saw him do something like this before, on a thread about Israel. It was pretty brutal. It's like watching one of those old WWF wrestlers grab an opponent's
face and grind away until the guy starts crying. I mean that in a nice & admiring way, you know.
-- Fontana Labs, Unfogged
We read you Gary Farber! We read you all the time! Its just that we are lazy with our blogroll. We are so very very lazy. We are always the last ones to the party but we always have snazzy bow ties.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!
Gary Farber you are a genius of mad scientist proportions. I will bet there are like huge brains growin in jars all over your house.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!
Gary Farber is the hardest working man in show blog business. He's like a young Gene Hackman blogging with his hair on fire, or something.
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog
Gary Farber only has two blogging modes: not at all, and 20 billion interesting posts a day [...] someone on the interweb whose opinions I can trust....
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog
Isn't Gary a cracking blogger, apropos of nothing in particular?
-- Alison Scott
Gary Farber takes me to task, in a way befitting the gentleman he is.
-- Stephen Green, Vodkapundit
My friend Gary Farber at Amygdala is the sort of liberal for whom I happily give three cheers. [...] Damned incisive blogging....
-- Midwest Conservative Journal
If I ever start a paper, Clueless writes the foreign affairs column, Layne handles the city beat, Welch has the roving-reporter job, Tom Tomorrow runs the comic section (which carries Treacher, of course). MediaMinded runs the slots - that's the type of editor I want as the last line of defense. InstantMan runs the edit page - and you can forget about your Ivins and Wills and Friedmans and Teepens on the edit page - it's all Blair, VodkaP, C. Johnson, Aspara, Farber, Galt, and a dozen other worthies, with Justin 'I am smoking in such a provocative fashion' Raimondo tossed in for balance and comic relief.
Who wouldn't buy that paper? Who wouldn't want to read it? Who wouldn't climb over their mother to be in it?
-- James Lileks
I do appreciate your role and the role of Amygdala as a pioneering effort in the integration of fanwriters with social conscience into the larger blogosphere of social conscience.
-- Lenny Bailes
Every single post in that part of Amygdala visible on my screen is either funny or bracing or important. Is it always like this? -- Natalie Solent
People I've known and still miss include Isaac Asimov, rich brown, Charles Burbee, F. M. "Buzz" Busby, Terry Carr, A. Vincent Clarke, Bob Doyle, George Alec Effinger, Abi Frost,
Bill & Sherry Fesselmeyer, George Flynn, John Milo "Mike" Ford. John Foyster, Mike Glicksohn, Jay Haldeman, Neith Hammond (Asenath Katrina Hammond)/DominEditrix , Chuch Harris, Mike Hinge, Lee Hoffman, Terry Hughes, Damon Knight, Ross Pavlac, Bruce Pelz, Elmer Perdue, Tom Perry,
Larry Propp, Bill Rotsler, Art Saha, Bob Shaw, Martin Smith, Harry Stubbs, Bob Tucker, Harry Warner, Jr., Jack Williamson, Walter A. Willis, Susan Wood, Kate Worley, and Roger Zelazny.
It's just a start, it only gets longer, many are unintentionally left out.
And She of whom I must write someday.
DISTANCE, SPREAD PATTERN, QUESTIONS from Paul Burka at Slate, and from many more!:
Harry's office—he is always referred to by his first name here—is on the 10th floor, and many tenants have dropped in or called to inquire about how he's doing. None of the ones I spoke to want to be quoted by name, because many of them are questioning the official accounts of the accident. The place is aswirl in rumor and speculation, especially since Harry suffered what was described as a mild heart attack Tuesday morning. Keep in mind that hunting, especially quail hunting, is deeply embedded in the political culture of this state, and invitations to hunt on prestigious spreads like the Armstrong Ranch are among the most prized of political perks.
The talk in the Vaughn Building centers around three questions:
Who was in charge of the hunt? As many Americans are learning for the first time, quail hunting is dangerous—arguably the most dangerous type of hunting. Participants, usually a threesome, follow dogs through thick brush and tall grass seeking what Karl Rove, a dedicated quail hunter, calls "the wily bob white." When the quail flush, hunters are surrounded by panicked birds. Each hunter is supposed to fire forward, but in the adrenalin spike of the flush, it is easy to lose your bearings. That is why it's good practice for someone who is not shooting to be in charge of the hunt. The hunters are supposed to maintain a horizontal line as they move forward, but this is easier than it sounds in rough country. When someone falls behind—someone, for instance, like Harry Whittington—the person in charge calls a halt until the line forms up again. Whittington, as we know, dropped back to pick up a bird. This happens all the time in quail hunting; the question is, why did the other two hunters keep going? Perhaps, veteran quail hunters are speculating, no one was in charge on the Armstrong Ranch, leaving the three hunters in Dick Cheney's party on their own while hostess Katharine Armstrong watched from the car that had transported them.
At what range was Harry Whittington hit? The official story is that the blast from the vice president's shotgun hit Whittington at a distance of 30 yards. Hunters at the Vaughn Building are skeptical. The hunt took place on a cold, windy afternoon. Whittington and his fellow hunters were probably wearing warm clothing—say, a jacket and a flannel shirt. Cheney was using a 28-gauge shotgun, a smaller-diameter firearm with pellets smaller than BBs. Whittington's friends question whether the pellets could have penetrated his layers of clothing and skin at that range. Yet two pellets lodged against his larynx, another was in his liver, and another migrated into the heart muscle, causing the heart attack. The pattern of wounds was between the lower chest and the forehead, a pretty tight zone for shot of 30 yards. If the range was considerably less than 30 yards, then it is likely that Whittington's injuries were worse than the initial statement by Katharine Armstrong indicated. (The blast "knocked him silly," but "he was fine.")
Whose fault was it? If there is anything that Harry's friends at the Vaughn Building are angry about, it is not the shooting itself but the attempt by White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan to place the blame on the victim. It's the shooter's duty to know what he is shooting at and where his companions are. A shooting accident is always the fault of the shooter. Always.
Discussing the plans in place when he was in McClellan's job, Fitzwater cited an incident in the early 1990s when George H.W. Bush was at Camp David for the weekend and collapsed, sparking a need to transport him to the hospital. "The statement was on the wires going out to the country before the helicopter had left to take him to the hospital," Fitzwater recalled. "I can't believe they didn't have a similar plan here. It is all Cheney, he is the key that has to start all this. I am appalled by the whole handling of this."
More on Katherine Armstrong's lobbying, from Aram Roston of the "NBC Investigative Unit." Among the points:
Armstrong was paid $160,000 in 2004 by the powerful legal firm Baker Botts to lobby the White House, according to records she filed with the U.S. Senate as required by lobbying disclosure rules. The records indicate she was paid the money after she "communicated with the White House on behalf of Baker Botts clients."
In a phone interview, she told NBC News that in return for the money in one case, she set up a meeting at the White House for a Baker Botts client, although she said she felt she could not release the client’s name.
"A meeting for doing something with one of their clients," she said, describing the event. "I’m not at liberty to say which." She says she cannot remember which White House official the meeting was with. She also said that during the inauguration proceedings, she got Karl Rove to speak at a Baker Botts function. "I got them Karl Rove," she said.
This AP timeline, which is appearing all over, also lists the time of shooting as "5:30 p.m.," not the "5:50 p.m." otherwise claimed. Distinct discrepancy going around between these two times.
The secretary for Kenedy County Sheriff Ramon Salinas the third, Sandra Guzman, said today that reports on the incident are pending. District Attorney Carlos Valdez says the matter hasn't been referred to his office, which prosecutes criminal cases in Kenedy, Klebert and Nueces counties. He says his office would become involved only if an investigative agency finds a hint of criminal wrongdoing or a dispute about the facts.
Game wardens haven't alleged violations of hunting rules in the shooting. They've gathered information on the accident, as is the procedure, for input into databases that track hunting mishaps.
Texas Parks and Wildlife spokesman Tom Harvey would not provide specifics on the information gathered. He says hunting parties aren't required to report accidents. The state penal code requires people to report fatalities, and law-enforcement would investigate those.
I'm unclear as to how accurate that "aren't required to report accidents" assertion is. Something to check.
So yesterday, even the president's brother was able to throw in a joke at the vice president's expense. At a luncheon yesterday, Florida Governor Jeb Bush seemed happy to receive a Farm Bureau sticker that happened to be bright orange -- the same shade hunters wear to be more visible. As he put it, "I'm a little concerned that Dick Cheney is going to walk in."
She says it was getting dark when Whittington "made a great shot" and nailed two quail. Armstrong says he dropped back to retrieve them, but then neglected to tell his companions he'd rejoined the group. She says that's a safety precaution a hunter must follow -- or risk getting shot.
So here it's two quail Whittington hit, and picked up, not one. Also, again repeating that Whittington and Cheney have never hunted before:
Whittington is an avid hunter and longtime Republican activist, who had apparently not hunted with Cheney before.
Unnamed "sources" tell NBC Cheney will "speak" sometime:
Vice President Dick Cheney is expected to make his first public statement about the accidental shooting of a hunting partner, sources told NBC News on Wednesday.
Cheney will “certainly” speak to the issue, the sources said, but they also cautioned that “we're at Wednesday” and suggested that progress made by Harry Whittington, the 78-year-old lawyer shot by Cheney, will play a big role in how any public comment is handled.
According to a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department report issued Monday, Whittington was retrieving a downed quail about 5:30 p.m. CT and stepped out of the hunting line he was sharing with Cheney at Armstrong's ranch south of Corpus Christi.
Again, the conflicting reports over time (this one taken from the Parks and Wildlife Department report I linked here, which is viewable here. 5:30 p.m. says the report and some timelines, 5:50 p.m. says Mr. Zahren of the Secret Service. Pick your favored law enforcement report.
All I would point out is that this is clearly a luxury firearm. Perazzi proudly advertises that it produces no more than 12 guns per day--apparently most of them custom-made. Trolling around the web, it's hard to find any new Perazzis for less than several thousand dollars. Check out, for instance, this dealer, whose offerings are in the $7500+ range. This is no shock, of course: We already knew Cheney was a multi-millionaire. But remember all the snickering in 2004 about John Kerry's $8000 bike? Somehow I suspect Rush Limbaugh and company aren't having a big laugh today over the Vice President's luxurious taste.
And on and on and on it rolls. I'm certainly not going to cover all the articles, because there are jillions, and will be jillions more. And I desperately need to take care of some errands, and get some downtime in the next couple of days. Just saying. Has anyone checked to see who was on the grassy knoll?
Thanks to CSI, we are all forensic scientists now, and, once you start asking forensic questions, there’s no end.
Hey, I was editing mystery novels and true crime books back in the Eighties! (Working with original James Lee Ellroy manuscripts when he was unknown! I used to see Ellroy almost every week for more than a year. Worked on Ed McBain books. Reprinting Elmore Leonard! Etc.)
Although the public was told for the first time yesterday that a shotgun pellet from a hunting accident had lodged in the lawyer's heart, one of his doctors said that "we knew that he had some birdshot very close to the heart from the get-go," but not its precise location.
Such evidence would have come from standard chest X-rays and a CT scan if one was performed shortly after his admission to a hospital in Corpus Christi, Tex.
Earlier accounts described as minor the pellet wounds that the lawyer, Harry M. Whittington, suffered in the face, neck, chest and ribs.
Their account left open the source of the birdshot that migrated to the heart and how it got there.
Dr. O. Wayne Isom, the chairman of heart and chest surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College, said it was unlikely that a pellet would migrate to the heart through the bloodstream, as some have assumed from the account of the Texas doctors.
The reason, Dr. Isom said, is that the pellet would have to enter a vein, travel to and through the lung vessels that go to the heart, and then lodge in heart tissue, not in one of its chambers. The pellets were approximately five millimeters, about the size of a BB, and larger than most blood vessels, said Dr. David Blanchard, director of emergency services at the hospital.
A more likely explanation, Dr. Isom said, is that the pellet lodged in or touched the heart when Mr. Whittington was shot.
Doctors use different X-ray techniques to determine the position of a pellet in the heart. But the account of the Texas doctors was unclear regarding which ones they performed and when.
Dr. Peter Banko, the Texas hospital's emergency department medical director, said doctors there did an ultrasound, a CT scan and a cardiac catheterization, which provide two-dimensional images. Dr. Banko said the hospital had a 64-slice CT scan that could provide three-dimensional images, but he did not say that the doctors performed the more sophisticated one on Mr. Whittington, or if so, when.
Doctors try to synchronize such CT X-rays with the heartbeat to avoid blurring from motion, said Dr. Jeffrey P. Goldman, a specialist in heart CT scans at Manhattan Diagnostic Radiology. But, Dr. Goldman said, doctors cannot synchronize a CT scan in patients with atrial fibrillation.
Metal in a pellet can cause a different kind of blurring in CT scans. But the Texas doctors did not say that they performed a 64-slice CT scan after they learned Mr. Whittington had a pellet near his heart and before he developed the abnormal rhythm.
Dr. Goldman said that "until you do the test you don't know how much blurring there is."
Dr. Isom said patients could develop atrial fibrillation two to three days after stitches were placed in a heart or it was injured.
The Texas doctors did not say how they determined that Mr. Whittington had had a heart attack. Two standard tests are from electrocardiograms and measuring enzymes. But injuries to the heart can cause a rise in enzymes that may not necessarily represent a heart attack.
The Texas doctors and the White House doctors with whom they discussed Mr. Whittington's case did not respond to a request for interviews.
How soon until there's a book on this whole thing? Anyone looked into a Chinese intelligence connection? (I'm kidding! Kidding! But wait for it.)
I've written bits and pieces about my work on mysteries/crime fiction many times over the years.
Not much more to say about Leonard or McBain (Evan Hunter), though. I never actually had any personal contact whatever with Leonard; I just did administrative scutwork on getting a dozen or so of his novels into our (Avon Books) paperback reprint line, and mailed stuff off to his agent.
With Hunter/McBain/etc., close to the same, although in that case my contact extended to sending him various paperwork, copies of our editions, copies of cover flats, etc., and getting some material back from him; I think in his case I did speak briefly to him once or twice on the phone, but it was so banal I remember no detail whatever. Sorry.
Ellroy, though, I had tons of contact with, for a couple of reasons. One was that the predecessor to my boss was the editor who discovered him from scratch, and he and she had a huge correspondence prior to his first book, all via his many, many, paged (like 30-40 pages at a time),handwritten letters, dozens and dozens of such letters.
At one point, since Ellroy was now (then, 1986)(getting some attention and growing fame), one thing I did was go through those files, make photocopies of all the letters for our files, and return the original handwritten ones to him (since they were clearly going to eventually be worth Big Bucks, and be important to his literary record).
The second thing is that Ellroy was close friends to my immediate boss, J--- D-----a, and would drop by for conversation, and lunch or dinner with J--- pretty much once a week most every week, for over the couple of years I was there; so Ellroy (I always called him "Ellroy," because he said that was fine, and because he'd otherwise offer either "Lee" or "James," and I never could quite decide which of those I might pick; "Ellroy," which he also liked, seemed to me to suit me and him better -- "hey, Ellroy, how's it hanging?" "hey, Farberdude, getting any this week?" Etc.) and he and I would usually chat for 5-25 minutes each time, while J--- was busy.
As you might imagine, quite a sui generis dude.
As I've noted numerous times, he would frequently advise me "remember, Gary: it's not what you do with your dick/cock -- it's how big it is that matters."
He had a variety of other such wisdom and commentary to pass along and counsel.
I've known a ton of writers -- many far better, some close friends or sweeties, some just acquaintances -- who went on to sell lots of books, from long before they sold a word. It would be a long list, and I've mentioned plenty over the years. Bill Gibson, for instance, I first hung met in Toronto in 1975 (the friend whose place we were meeting at wound up with a jammed door to the basement apartment; Bill -- who is very tall and gangly -- had to clamber in throw a small basement window to meet the two of us [a mutual friend, Susan Wood, told us we should get together]; later, when he was in Vancouver, and I in Seattle, he used to hang out at my monthly party, tween '78-83. Etc., etc., etc.
Stuff like that happens when you got deeply involved in sf fandom at age 12 in 1971, and first started chatting with Isaac Asimov at parties and small conventions a couple of years later. Eventually you're peeing in the urinal next to Roger Zelazy (later working on his books and going to the same parties), getting phone calls at home from Harlan Ellison, etc., etc., etc.
Only met Arthur Clarke once, though, and only had a two minute chat. Only met Heinlein three times, ditto also only a couple of minutes chat. Last phone call from Harlan was only about two years ago, though, and for about an hour of catching up.
Also know a number of mystery folks, though fewer than sf folk. I was working on Judy Jance's (J. A. Jance) books from her second, though we were never friends, just phone acquaintances, and various others. Plus lots of nonfiction writers, and other kinds of writers. Never had any direct contact with any of our Latin American writers, just with translators such as Gregory Rabassa; I wouldn't have known what to say to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, anyway.
I gotta lotta name-dropping options. :-) (That, and a couple of bucks, will buy me a cup of coffee; leaves me some anecdotes, though.)
"...later, when he [Bill Gibson] was in Vancouver, and I in Seattle, he used to hang out at my monthly party, tween '78-83. Etc., etc., etc."
I should clarify that that was on some occasions; he didn't come down at all regularly, though we always saw each other about six times a year or so for long weekends during those years, whether at my party, or someone else's party, or at a small sf convention's party. Saw less of him once he started to finally sell his first stories, and by the time Neuromance came out, I was back in NYC; we exchanged a handful of e-mails during the Eighties, and haven't been in touch since. Just want to be clear there.
Harlan and I go way back. I first met him in 1973, and have several stories from that, though I'd be very surprised if he remembered me being present; I just watched him, barely spoke to him, and I was 14 years old.
We had tons of contact in 1978, though, when he was Guest Of Honor at the 1978 Worldcon, and I took over as Director of Operations (named retroactively at the end of the con as "Vice-Chair," by the Board of Directors) only six weeks prior to the con (extremely, endlessly, multiple long stories), and had lots of contact with him, particularly throughout the convention. Ever meet me in person, ask me about the Bomb Squad, or the ERA boycott of Arizona, or the death threats, or... lots of stuff.
Here is one of many posts, mentioning Harlan, though just in quoting a news story.
If you were to cleverly google on rec.arts.sf.* on Usenet via Google Groups, circa 1995-2001, you could find a ton more of that sort of stuff from me, though you'd have to go through some tens of thousands of posts by me. :-)
"E: "Well? No, M***, the correct response to my question is either "long and strong" or "a hard yard." "
Yeah, that's absolutely Ellroy, all right.
"(At one point, I understand, Ellroy became fond of the nickname "Dog," as in "the demon dog of American letters.")"
Oh, yes. We used to joke about that, too. Almost forgot that, thanks for reminding me.
Mind, the last time I saw/spoke with Ellroy was late 1988 (I do intend to, at some point this year, get around to writing up how I got all screwed up and lost my job at Avon Books in December, 1988, and later kinda killed my publishing career; short version: severe recurring clinical depression). (Prior to the Avon job, I turned down Tappan King's offering me the position of Managing Editor at Twilight Zone Magazine and Night Cry magazine, for the Avon job, and before that I worked freelance for almost all the major paperback houses in NYC for many years, in various capacities, as freelance reader, copyeditor, consulting, proofreader, copywriter, etc.; my first jobs in publishing were at Teen Beat Magazine in 1974-5, doing scutwork, and writing some confessions stories for a couple of the sister confessions magazines, and at Amazing Science Fiction and Fantastic Stories, in 1975, as an uncredited "Assistant Editor," i.e., slush reader (that was my first sf genre job -- a quarter a manuscript!) (I forget what Teen Beat paid me as an inhouse freelancer, but it was probably around $6.50/hr; I was 14-15, and hired because my cousin was friends with the guy in charge, Brad Franklin (son of tv personality Joe Franklin; the fiction paid like $20-$25/piece; when I started reading slush for Amazing/Fantastic (Sol Cohen's "Ultimate Publications, Inc."), I was 15.
Incidentally, populuxe, having taken a moment's glance at your Profile page, I could also talk about the time I slept with Chip Delany.
Okay, no sex, just sharing a bed for four nights, at the 1983 Worldcon, when I split a room with Chip, and Don Keller. :-) Boy, Chip snores. (Okay, really it was their room, and they let me crash.)
Known Chip for a long time, too, been to his apartment for several parties, though, again, not in years. I'd be very surprised if Chip didn't remember me perfectly well, though; one of the most brilliant people I've ever known. Also, due to his dyslexia, producer of the most typo-ridden manuscripts I've ever seen from a professional writer. :-)