Scroll down for Amygdala archives! You know you want to. [Temporarily rather borked, along with rest of template.]
Amygdala's endorsements are below my favorite quotations! Keep scrolling!
Amygdala will move to an entirely new and far better blog template ASAP, aka RSN, aka incrementally/badly punctuated evolution.
Tagging posts, posts by category, next/previous post indicators, and other post-2003 design innovations are incrementally being tweaked/kludged/melting.
Above email address currently deprecated! Use gary underscore farber at yahoodotcom, pliz! Sanely free of McCarthyite calling anyone a traitor since 2001!
Commenting Rules: Only comments that are courteous and respectful of other commenters will be allowed. Period.
You must either open a Google/Blogger.com/Gmail Account, or sign into comments at the bottom of any post with OpenID, LiveJournal, Typepad, Wordpress, AIM account, or whatever ID/handle available to use. Hey, I don't design Blogger's software: sorry!
Posting a spam-type URL will be grounds for deletion.
Comments on posts over 21 days old are now moderated, and it may take me a long while to notice and allow them.
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.
If you like my blog, and would like to help me continue to afford food and prescriptions, or simply enjoy my blogging and writing, and would like to support it --
you are welcome to do so via the PayPal buttons.
"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.
Armstrong; her sister; Cheney; Whittington; and Pamela Pitzer Willeford, the U.S. ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, went out on the ranch to hunt quail. Armstrong said the protocol they used was to have three hunters shooting at one time: While two sat in the hunt vehicle, the other three were hunting. They would then rotate.
The hunters, wearing bright-orange vests and caps, walked in a line across a pasture. From what Armstrong said she saw as she sat in the hunt vehicle about 100 yards from Cheney and the other hunters, Whittington walked back, away from the line, to look for a bird that he had shot but that a dog did not find.
He then walked forward toward Cheney, approaching from behind and to the right of him and the other hunter when the vice president shot at a quail and hit the lawyer.
Goddamned Democratic dogs; probably CIA moles.
Notice, carefully, the line the White House continues to take, from earlier in this story:
President Bush and White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove were told of the shooting Saturday night but deferred to Cheney on providing information to the public, White House aides said. In what one official described as a break with the White House practice of disclosing such high-level mishaps immediately, Cheney waited more than 14 hours after the shooting to disclose it publicly.
It wasn't us! is the White House line. Dick was freelancing! is what they're saying. We know better; it's all just Dick Cheney's responsibility here. See also this, if you need a hammer over your head to get it:
The White House typically releases information immediately on incidents involving the president's personal life, such as bike-riding accidents, to avoid the appearance of covering up embarrassments. It is highly unusual, if not unprecedented, for the White House to allow a private citizen serve as its de facto spokesman.
But current and former aides said the White House rarely imposes its practices, especially on press matters, on Cheney. The vice president's office often operates autonomously in a manner that many top White House officials are reluctant to challenge.
In this case, Cheney worked with family members and former aide Mary Matalin on how to handle the fallout of the shooting accident, said a person close to the vice president who demanded anonymity to talk about internal discussions.
Pretty clear message being leaked and spun here. It's all on that damned Dick.
As I said here, well, it's not as if they have much to gain at this point by continuing to hug Dick Cheney to their bosom, and he's a terribly convenient scape-goat to throw overboard (with a fascist jack-booted octopus waiting to swallow him, you understand) along with all the other sins of the past five years that the WH can manage to load him up with, which isn't that hard a trick, as it happens, so it's hardly a surprise to watch this play out in that direction.
I think it's not entirely impossible -- though still quite early, yet -- to start making some small bets that Vice-President Cheney might just yet not make it to the finish line in January '09 in office, after all. It's possible, I think, that he may, just possibly, develop some health problems in six months, or a year, or two, that call for him to need to step down.
Not a sure thing, by any means, at this point. He's apt to need to be thrown overboard, rather than volunteer to do it for the good of the Party, the President, etc., I suspect.
But, well, I think it's starting to look more like a conceivability, and less like a mad fantasy. And, after all, if President Bush takes an interest in annointing a successor, why, what a wonderfully convenient and hugely helpful mechanism happens to be at hand, right down the hallway.
Vice-President Rice might not turn out to be a crazy dream fantasy of some of the rightwing, after all. Who knows? Vice-President Frist? Vice-President Allen? Play the game, yourself!; don't quail! (I know, I know! Vice-President Harriet Miers!)
Read The Rest Scale: 2.5 out of 5; the rest of it is pretty much what's already been reported. This seems to be the first story, though that clearly asserts/claims the hunting party consisted of just the named five. And I wasn't entirely clear if former AmbassadorAnne Armstrong was still in the picture until this sentence:
In a telephone interview, Armstrong said that she, her mother and her sister, Sara Storey Armstrong Hixon, decided on Sunday morning after breakfast to report the shooting accident to the media.
First large post on Deadeye Dick here. Note: I previously described Anne Armstrong as "Reagan's appointee as U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom," but my memory was slightly off; she was President Ford's Ambassador; under Reagan, she was head of PFIAB, the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.
ADDENDUM, 8:09 a.m.: Time's Mike Allen offers a profile of Harry Whittingham that tells you aboslutely nothing I've not already told you. John Dickerson gets it right, though.
ADDENDUM, 11:12 a.m.: In one of the innumerable pieces on the jokes flying, as well as a look at the fumbles, here we get this from Bumiller:
Later, the briefing produced one of the more surreal e-mail messages from this White House in its five-year history. Around 4:40 p.m., the press office dispatched a clarification to reporters, titled "Response to a Question From the Briefing," which began, "Q: So when did the president definitively know that the vice president had shot somebody?"
Don't you kinda secretly wish they sent out releases like that every week or so?
(AP) CORPUS CHRISTI The 78-year-old lawyer who was shot by Vice President Dick Cheney in a hunting accident has some birdshot lodged in his heart and he had a "minor heart attack," a hospital official said Tuesday.
Peter Banko, the hospital administrator at Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi-Memorial, said Harry Whittington had the heart attack early Tuesday while being evaluated.
He said there was an irregularity in the heartbeat caused by a pellet, and doctors performed a cardiac catheterization. Whittington expressed a desire to leave the hospital, but Banko said he would probably stay for another week.
Whittington had initially been placed in intensive care. He had been moved to a "step-down unit" Monday after doctors decided to leave several birdshot pellets lodged in his skin rather than try to remove them.
Update: Just a reminder to my beloved blue state liberal brethern–while it’s thigh-slappingly hilarious that Cheney shot his friend, try to avoid sounding scandalized. It was birdshot–it’s not really a big fucking deal.
If Whittington didn't get hit in the eyes, it's only luck. Can't say I think getting blasted in the face with birdshot from a few feet away is "not really a big fucking deal." It's not as if he was reported hit in the ass. And that he's reportedly still in the Intensive Care Unit also seems to make the obvious point.
Like I said. (Not that Amanda was remotely the only one giving voice to such comments; I'm not picking on her particularly; I could point to dozens, hundreds, of similar comments from Sunday and Monday.)
Whittington, a prominent Austin lawyer, and the vice president arrived for a weekend hunting trip Friday night at the 50,000-acre Armstrong Ranch, a well-known retreat for wealthy Texas Republicans 95 miles southwest of Corpus Christi.
The party of 11 hunters set out in two trucks Saturday morning, driving around the mesquite-dotted property and shooting quail until about 12:30 p.m., said Anne Armstrong, co-owner of the ranch. Then they broke for a lunch of antelope, jicama salad and camp bread, washed down with Dr. Pepper.
After lunch, the group split up. Cheney, Whittington and Pamela Pitzer Willeford, U.S. ambassador to Switzerland, went with two of Armstrong's daughters and pursued quail for several more hours. It was at dusk that Whittington shot a bird and went to retrieve it, taking him behind the vice president.
The medical team that travels with Cheney immediately began ministering to Whittington, who was bleeding profusely from wounds to his face, neck and chest, witnesses said. They packed Whittington into Cheney's ambulance and drove him to a hospital.
The injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, Armstrong said, because the ambulance paused on the road for several minutes to allow Whittington's wife to join them.
After being stabilized at a hospital in Kingsville, Whittington was evacuated by helicopter to a larger facility in Corpus Christi — where he was placed in the intensive care unit. The Secret Service reported the shooting to the Kenedy County Sheriff's Office; no one from that agency interviewed Cheney until Sunday morning.
The Secret Service said it had turned away one sheriff's deputy at the ranch the night of the accident because arrangements had been made for Cheney to be interviewed the following morning, Associated Press said.
Doctors treating Harry Whittington said the Republican lawyer was moved back into the intensive care unit and will need to remain hospitalized for at least a week.
"Some of the birdshot appears to have moved and lodged into part of his heart," Peter Banko, an administrator and spokesman for Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital, told reporters outside the Corpus Christi hospital. Banko said the birdshot "caused him to have a minor heart attack."
Asked if the birdshot could move more and endanger Whittington's life, David Blanchard, emergency room chief at the hospital, said: "When birdshot is in your body, there's always the risk they can move. We'll watch very closely for any migration."
He said later, however, that the single BB-like piece of birdshot is "in a fixed position" and is not expected to travel. Blanchard said he and other doctors treating Whittington feel "very strongly that all the other birdshot in him is not problematic." The number of other pieces of birdshot in Whittington's body is not known, he said, but could range anywhere from "more than five" to "less than 150 to 200."
Blanchard described the incident this morning as an "atrial fibrillation," or quivering of the upper part of the heart, as a result of irritability or inflammation caused by the piece of birdshot. He also described it as a "silent or minor heart attack."
Blanchard said what happened to Whittington was extremely rare. He said cardiologists may see a similar case only once or twice in their lifetimes.
Banko said cardiologists at the hospital were consulting with White House doctors because the doctors had first treated Whittington after Cheney accidentally shot him.
Blanchard said only one piece of birdshot was causing Whittington's heart problems at the moment. "This is the only one we are concerned about," he said.
He and Banko described the heart attack as "asymptomatic," meaning that Whittington did not display any symptoms of a heart attack.
"We picked up an irregular heartbeat,' Blanchard said. "At no time did he ever have any chest pain." He said the incident happened around 6:30 a.m.
"We knew he had some birdshot very close to the heart from the get-go," Blanchard said. However, "we're not 100 percent certain where it is," he added, explaining that doctors felt it was better to leave it alone than to operate to remove it at this point.
Blanchard said Whittington's coronary arteries are clear and that "he has the heart of a much, much younger individual."
I'll refrain from the obvious joke. What I find interesting is that in a sidebar to the story, the time of the shooting is given as "6:50 p.m. (Eastern time)."
Therefore, the shooting, if the Washington Post timeline is correct (and I don't yet know that for a fact, or from another source), allegedly took place at 5:50 p.m. local time.
Here is the detail about the hunting stamp required for quail.
Texas Migratory Game Bird Stamp Endorsement (Type 168): $7 Required to hunt any migratory game bird (waterfowl, coot, rail, gallinule, snipe, dove, sandhill crane, and woodcock). A valid Federal Duck Stamp and HIP Certification are also required of waterfowl hunters 16 years of age or older.
Here we learn that Cheney only had 14 days after Saturday left to bag his quail:
QUAIL Statewide (all counties) Oct. 29-Feb. 26
Just incidentally, here (same PDF URL) is the penalty for violating the law:
If you violate fish and wildlife laws, in addition to civil restitution you may: • be fined (Class C – $25–$500; Class B – $200–$2000; Class A – $500–$4000; State Jail Felony, $1500–$10,000); • be jailed (Class B and higher offenses); • face automatic suspension or revocation of licenses for up to 5 years; • forfeit hunting gear, including firearms, used to commit a violation. CIVIL RESTITUTION: In addition to the criminal penalty for hunting and fishing violations, the department will seek the civil recovery value for the loss or damage to wildlife resources. The civil restitution cost is payable to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and is in addition to the fine assessed by the court. Failure to pay the civil recovery value will result in the department’s refusal to issue a license, tag, or permit. An individual who hunts or fishes after the refusal commits a class A misdemeanor which is punishable by a fine not less than $500 or more than $4,000; punishment in jail not to exceed one year; or both fine and confinement. For questions concerning civil restitution call (512) 389-4630.
Presumably, this doesn't cover not having your "Texas Migratory Game Bird Stamp Endorsement (Type 168)," which the White House has stated Cheney didn't have, and for which the $7 was ex post facto duly sent off. Just noting.
However, a bit further down, same PDF/URL, we see this:
Available for Inspection: A person who is hunting, fishing, or trapping must carry on their person and have available for inspection a valid license and any applicable stamp endorsements or permits unless the person is exempt from license, stamp endorsement, or permit requirements.
Vice-President Cheney appears to have violated this provision of the regulation/law.
I also note this:
Waste of Game: A reasonable effort must be made to retrieve all wounded game birds and game animals and they must be killed immediately and become a part of the legal bag limit. It is a violation to fail to keep all edible portions of a game bird, game animal, or fish in an edible condition. For whitetail and mule deer, pronghorn antelope, and desert bighorn sheep, the violation is a Class A misdemeanor.
Were the edible portions of the quail preserved in edible condition? I have a suspicion Katherine Armstrong will assure us that this was done.
Lastly, this (same PDF/URL):
Hunting General Information
Legal Shooting Hours for all Game Animals and Nonmigratory Game Birds: from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.