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.
WHAT REMARKABLY UNCANNY TIMING THE VEEP HAS. [***CRUCIAL REVISION: SEE "ADDENDUM, IMPORTANT CORRECTION, 5:52 P.M" BELOW!***] I observed the following in an addendum to this post, moments ago (I began posting the addenda in segments at 4:29 p.m, Rocky Mountain time, and concluded it at ~5:14 p.m.). I'm breaking it out into its own post.
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.
The following information is provided for Kenedy, Karnes County, Texas (longitude W97.8, latitude N28.8): Saturday 11 February 2006 Central Standard Time
SUN Begin civil twilight 6:49 a.m. Sunrise 7:13 a.m. Sun transit 12:46 p.m. Sunset 6:19 p.m. End civil twilight 6:43 p.m.
Apparently, according to the time the Washington Post is giving for the time-of-shooting, it was within one minute (after) the legal time allowed.
What a remarkable coincidence.
ADDENDUM, 5:43 p.m.: It also specifies here what's legally shootable quail in hunting season in Texas, and what's not:
Game Birds All wild varieties of: Bobwhite quail Migratory game birds (all species) Chachalaca Pheasants Gambel’s quail Scaled quail (blue) Lesser prairie chicken Turkey
Species with no open season: • Attwater’s prairie chicken • Mearn’s (Montezuma) quail • Partridge (includes chukar)
Just to be ultra-nitpicky to a likely crazy degree: anyone know what kind of quail the hunting party shot?
ADDENDUM, IMPORTANT CORRECTION, 5:52 P.M.: Okay, very important revision. I see, looking again, that the end of "civil twilight" according to the Naval Observatory, in Kenedy County, is: End civil twilight 6:43 p.m.
Therefore, if the shooting took place at 5:50 p.m. Central Time, local time in Kenedy County, and the limit is one half hour after that, it was actually almost fifty minutes (50 minutes) within the legal time. So it's not nearly as coincidental as I initially mistakenly thought, and thus might not be important at all. Um, oops.
Of course, it would be darned interesting to be able to pin down the precise time of the shooting for certain, wouldn't it?
ADDDENDUM, OVER A PERIOD OF TIME CONCLUDING (I HOPE) at 6:28 p.m.: *CRIPES ALMIGHTY*. I go to immediately post a revision to the above addendum, about ten seconds after posting, and then Firefox locks up, I kill it and start it up again, it locks up again, I have to kill the process, then the computer crashes, then I start again, Firefox locks again, I start again (loading 14 tabs isn't quick, either, although I rapidly started killing them), it locks again, and now I'm trying again. Jeebus!
Anyway, I wanted to correct my yet further stupid error in having just above referred to the "civil twilight" time, 6:43 p.m., as relevant, when it actually is the "sunset time," 6:19 p.m., and the half-hour after that that is relevant. So it's only within one half-hour (29 minutes, if we're being sticklers) that Vice-President Cheney legally had left, if the time of the shooting is correctly reported as 5:50 p.m., Central time.
And, of course, it does appear that the Vice-President may owe a Class C fine ($25–$500), if it is leveled as appears warranted, for not carrying with him his Texas Migratory Game Bird Stamp Endorsement (Type 168), for what that's worth (nothing significant, of course; I somehow imagine he can afford it). Hey, I'll take what small comfort I can get for getting some little detail right. (Now, let's see if I can post this without some other crash or curse.)
ADDENDUM: 7:15 p.m.: Naturally, when I try to post something else, I get this:
This server is currently experiencing a problem. An engineer has been notified and will investigate.
Status code: 1-500-11
Thank you, Blogger! (Will this post? Who the eff knows?)
ADDENDUM, 8:13 p.m.: Some quite interesting bits in this updated story. First:
Dr. David Blanchard, the emergency room chief, estimated that Mr. Whittington had more than 5 but "probably less than 150 to 200" pellets lodged in his body.
a) That's quite a range, isn't it?
b) That's quite a jump from the previously mentioned "several birdshot pellets lodged in his skin," isn't it?
Doctors said that the pellet, which they had known since the accident was near Mr. Whittington's heart, had evidently moved into the heart muscle, causing "some quivering" called atrial fibrillation.
So that this was that serious -- that is, that there was a pellet near Mr. Whittington's heart has been "known since the accident."
Keep that in mind as you evaluate how full, accurate, and honest, is the information the White House, and other relevant parties, are releasing.
But also interesting: continued terrific communications skills demonstrated between the Vice-President and his office, and that of the White House Press Secretary's office. Cue Scotty:
[...] At the White House, Scott McClellan, the president's spokesman, began his day unaware of Mr. Whittington's heart attack. After being battered by reporters on Monday for the delay in the White House's providing information about the accident, Mr. McClellan opened his first briefing on Tuesday making light of the incident, as the late-night comics had done.
But by the time of Mr. McClellan's noon briefing, when the press secretary was aware of Mr. Whittington's downturn but did not disclose it to reporters, his tone was serious, even as he was at times impatient with the persistent questions about the shooting. "If you want to continue to spend time on that, that's fine," Mr. McClellan said. "We're moving on to the priorities of the American people."
Mr. Cheney's aides said he first learned of the change in Mr. Whittington's condition when he arrived at his West Wing office about 7:40 a.m. Tuesday, shortly after doctors in Corpus Christi said that they had picked up an irregular heartbeat from Mr. Whittington on their morning rounds.
Italics mine. Cheney finds out about the heart attack and increased seriousness of Whittington's condition at 7:40 a.m. Eastern time, but at McLellan's first morning briefing -- which, curiously, at this time does not appear at the White House website, as is the norm -- McLellan is unaware of what Cheney knows?
Scotty, incidentally, does his usual non-sequituring, of course:
Q Scott, I just have two questions to follow up on the accidental shooting by the Vice President. Does the President think that the Vice President should address this publicly, personally, speak to the American people in any fashion to explain what happened and why it took so long to disclose it publicly?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think what happened has been explained. The Vice President's Office has talked about it; I've talked about it. And I represent the President and speak for him. The Vice President's spokeswoman speaks for him, as well. So that information has been provided. We went through this pretty thoroughly yesterday.
Q So the President doesn't think that the Vice President should actually think about it himself, not through intermediaries?
MR. McCLELLAN: You talk to the Vice President on a fairly frequent basis in the past, and I'm sure you will in the future, as well.
Yes, completely responsive, as ever, as normal. The rest is the normal babble, which I won't bother quoting (click and read for yourself, if you like), but I like this, with the Q apparently being from David Gregory of ABC News, of the loud argument from yesterday:
Q I have one final question, since that one wasn't answered. Is it appropriate for the Vice President to have waited 14 hours after the incident before he spoke with local law enforcement officials? And do you think that an average citizen would have been accorded that same amount of time before having to answer questions about a shooting incident?
MR. McCLELLAN: That was what was arranged with the local law enforcement authorities. You ought to ask them that question.
Yes, certainly, the Sheriff of Kenedy County has and had the controlling power and authority, not the Vice-President of the United States. Of course. Cheney was helpless!
Oh, just for the sake of it, more of the usual inanity:
Suzanne, go ahead.
Q Is the President satisfied that he learned of the details about the shooting through Karl Rove and Andy Card, and not directly from the Vice President?
MR. McCLELLAN: He was informed about it, and there are lots of different ways to keep the President informed about events, and that was the way it happened in this instance.
Q Is he satisfied that he didn't hear directly from Cheney regarding --
MR. McCLELLAN: Again, Suzanne, if you all want to continue to focus on this, you all can spend your time on it. We're going to keep focusing on the pressing priorities of the American people, like talking about how to make health care more affordable and accessible. We've got important work to do for the American people, and that's where we're going to keep our focus. You're welcome to continue to focus on these issues. I'm moving on.
It's a shame more of America doesn't see, or at least read, this stuff: how these briefings always go. I really don't think as many people would have that trusting faith in the White House if they did, although some always would, no matter if McClellan starting barking like a poodle and speaking in tongues, of course (more than he normally does, that is).
On other fronts, by the way, Brownie, I mean "Mikey," is still doing a great job:
Q And one other quick one, on Michael Chertoff. Have there been discussions between Mr. Chertoff and Mr. Bush about whether Chertoff should, in fact, resign over Katrina?
MR. McCLELLAN: No. In fact, Secretary Chertoff is doing a great job at the Homeland Security Department.
Eric Zahren, a Secret Service spokesman, said the shooting occurred at 5:50 p.m. Central time, slightly later than the White House had said at first. After helping Mr. Whittington into an ambulance, the agents in Mr. Cheney's security detail returned to their command post on the hunting ranch by 6:30 p.m. The Secret Service supervisor in McAllen, Tex., had called the sheriff in Kenedy County to tell him about the shooting by 7 p.m., Mr. Zahren said.
The Secret Service supervisor arranged with the sheriff for Mr. Cheney to be interviewed at the ranch at 10 a.m. Sunday, Mr. Zahren said. But the vice president's office changed the time to 8 a.m.
While there were reports, some from the sheriff himself, that a deputy had been dispatched to the ranch on Saturday night and been turned away, Mr. Zahren said that some local police officers had heard about the shooting on a scanner when an ambulance was sent to pick up Mr. Whittington. They showed up at the ranch unsolicited. Private guards, not Secret Service agents, Mr. Zahren said, turned the police away because they did not know anything had occurred.
So the 10:50 p.m. time report comes from Mr. Zahren of the Secret Service, apparently. Presumably they have log books in which such an event would be entered, I tend to assume.
Let's all remember that the federal courts have established that there is no "protective function privilege" or executive privilege allowing Secret Secret Service personnel to refuse to testify as to what they've witnessed the President do. Obviously, there is no such privilege as regards the Vice-President, either. I'm just saying. (I'm not expecting this to actually wind up in court; I'm just sayin'.)
ADDENDUM, 10:53 p.m.: The NY Timesgets around to making the observation about the lack of communication between Cheney's office and McLellan that I made earlier above. (Sigh, yet another night I don't get to watch a movie.)
NOTE: If possible, firearms, archery tackle, ammunition/powder or other equipment involved in a hunting accident/incident should be taken into the custody of the investigating officer for testing and/or evaluation.
I wonder if this was done.
Not that I can think of anything that might be learned from it, offhand. Just curious if SOP was followed.
ADDENDUM, 11:46 p.m.: Just noticed that the report lists the "time of day" of the incident as "5:30 p.m.," not 5:50 p.m.; just mentioning for the record.
Also, the form says the report was filed by the "sherrif's department." :-)
Inexplicably, though not in any way apparently remotely significantly, it also lists the "safety position" as "unknown," rather than as "off," as one would logically expect.
Also, on the question "Hunter Education Certified?," it lists "yes" for Whittington, but "unknown" for Cheney.
It also checks "yes" to "Game law violated?" for both of them, and cites "P & W Code 43.652." (Or possibly "43, 652"; I can't quite make it out.)
BTW, don't know if you're forwarding them your scoops, but http://firedoglake.blogspot.com/ has really been all over this story and has frequently built new posts from material left by comments. May want to put them on your distribution list too, for better visibility.
Don't shoot yourselves in the foot by focusing on this licensing stuff. He made himself look like an a-hole. Why turn it around and let the critics look like a-holes? I bet he speeds too. Someone should get on that story.