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2006 February 14 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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The Democrats Lose Another One

Paul Hackett announced his withdrawal from politics. Inside the Beltway Dems wanted him to run for Congress after he had been on the hunt for a Senate seat for a while. The Party establishment doesn’t want a primary battle in Ohio.

A hint for the Party establishment, the voters want a change. Running old faces is not going to cut it. Incumbents are in trouble if you look at the polls. This is going to be a “throw the bums out” election. Having new people challenge incumbents is the safest bet, because people think everyone in Congress is corrupt.

Hackett may not have won the primary, but he deserved a chance. People are getting sick of politics as usual, with insiders making all of the decisions.

I guess I’ve got to change back to being an independent because the Party just doesn’t want to take a chance on winning, and I can’t support the people they have running in Florida.

It’s past time for Democrats to stand for something and stop “triangulating”.

February 14, 2006   Comments Off on The Democrats Lose Another One

A Dangerous Dog Treat

According to CNN, Greenies dog treats don’t appear to be as digestible as the manufacturer believes. Dogs have been killed and injured by the treats becoming lodged in the esophagus and digestive tract.

Apparently the process that makes them chewable prevents them from readily breaking down.

February 14, 2006   Comments Off on A Dangerous Dog Treat


Dramatis Personæ:

Mrs. Anne L. Armstrong, ranch owner, former US ambassador to the United Kingdom, Medal of Freedom winner, Bush Pioneer, not part of the hunting party. [Note, when the White House refers to Mrs. Armstrong, they mean Anne Armstrong.]

Miss Katherine Armstrong, daughter of Anne, lobbyist, Bush Pioneer, former chairwoman of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, hunt guide, witness. [Note, she took back her maiden name after her divorce.]

Pamela Pitzer Willeford, US ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Bush Pioneer, hunter, witness.

Harry Whittington, attorney, presiding officer of the Texas Funeral Service Commission, Bush Pioneer, hunter, victim.

Richard Cheney, Vice President of the United States, hunter? suspect?


On Saturday afternoon, Miss Armstrong drove the three hunters out to an area on her mother’s ranch where she suspected there would be quail. Using dogs she located two coveys of quail and told the hunters where the birds were.

The three hunters leave the vehicle, and flush quail from the first covey. Mr. Whittington felt he had killed at least one bird and proceeded to search for it, while Mr. Cheney and Ms. Willeford walked east [based on Ms. Willeford statement about the location of the sun] to the second covey.

Having completed his search, Mr. Whittington walked towards the other two hunters, in sight of the vehicle according to Miss Armstrong.

When Mr. Whittington was approximately 30 yards away, the second covey was flushed and Mr. Cheney took aim at a bird and following the flight fired his weapon, striking Mr. Whittington.


Mr. Cheney had a 28 gauge Perazzi shotgun and was using 7½ shot.

A standard ¾ ounce load of 7½ shot is 262 pellets.

Approximately 70% of the pellets from a 28 gauge shell will remain within a circle 30 inches in diameter at 30 yards.

According to reports from the hospital approximately 100 pellets struck Mr. Whittington’s face, neck, and torso with sufficient force to penetrate his outer clothing and penetrate his chest nearly to his heart.

This would indicate that Mr. Cheney discharged his weapon at a point approximately two feet from Mr. Whittington’s head.

If he couldn’t see Mr. Whittington’s head, he certainly couldn’t see a quail.


Some of the quail from the first covey ran rather than taking flight. When Mr. Whittington was walking towards the other two hunters he flushed one or more of those birds. Mr. Cheney heard the birds fly up [the sound is distinctive], whirled and fired without getting a clear sight picture.

We don’t know if drugs or alcohol were involved because local officials were blocked from interviewing Mr. Cheney for an extended period after the incident. Everyone said there was no chemical involvement, but they are friends and political allies of long standing.


Even accepting the witness statements as true, Mr. Cheney displayed a reckless disregard for the safety of others and caused a serious injury to another human being. At 6-foot, Mr. Whittington should have been clearly visible at a distance of 30 yards. Miss Armstrong stated that she saw him, but apparently made no effort to alert the other hunters.

The delays in reporting, and Cheney’s failure to make himself available to local law enforcement, all argue for more of an investigation.

February 14, 2006   Comments Off on Reckless


HeartWhy are you being hustled by street vendors to buy sad and drooping former roses, vegetative matter that missed the cut for bouquets, or were too late to the hospital?

Blame Esther A. Howland (1828 – 1904) of Worcester, Massachusetts. Her guilt is writ large by the Greeting Card Association’s Esther Howland Award for a Greeting Card Visionary. She imported the concept to the US from Britain to bolster her father’s stationery store in 1847.

Of course, it wasn’t long before the stationers had infiltrated school boards and imposed the now mandatory exchange in the classroom to push the low end product of Asian children and prisoners.

Seeing the success of the card merchants, the confectioners jumped on board to fill the lull between Christmas and Easter with the benefit that the bulk of purchases would be made by desperate men with less sense of taste than a golden retriever. If the box was red, heart-shaped, and said chocolate, a man would buy it.

There were at least three Saint Valentines and all were martyrs, as they should have been for the trouble they’ve caused. None are the reason for the “holiday”, only the excuse. They lived at a time when life and men were short and brutal, so the romantic aura of the holiday is pure piffle. At least one was reportedly part of a draft dodging scheme during the Roman Empire, marrying people so the men could avoid being deployed to foreign wars, bachelors being preferred for catapult fodder. [see Cheney, Richard]

It is to be hoped that the individual who first wrote: “Roses are red, violets are blue” was eaten by rabid wolverines, or had hemorrhoids.

February 14, 2006   Comments Off on VD