Here is Harry Percy, known as "Hotspur", defending himself to Henry IV against a charge of insubordination.


My liege, I did deny no prisoners.

But I remember, when the fight was done,

When I was dry with rage and extreme toil,
Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword--

Came there a certain lord, neat, and trimly dress'd,
Fresh as a bridegroom; and his chin new reap'd
Show'd like a stubble-land at harvest-home;

He was perfumed like a milliner;
And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held
A pouncet-box, which ever and anon
He gave his nose and took't away again;
Who therewith angry, when it next came there,
Took it in snuff; and still he smiled and talk'd,

And as the soldiers bore dead bodies by,
He call'd them untaught knaves, unmannerly,
To bring a slovenly unhandsome corse
Betwixt the wind and his nobility.

With many holiday and lady terms
He question'd me; amongst the rest, demanded
My prisoners in your majesty's behalf.

I then, all smarting, with my wounds being cold,
To be so pester'd with a popinjay,
Out of my grief and my impatience,
Answer'd neglectingly I know not what,

He should or he should not; for he made me mad
To see him shine so brisk and smell so sweet
And talk so like a waiting-gentlewoman
Of guns and drums and wounds,--God save the mark!--

And telling me the sovereign'st thing on earth
Was parmaceti for an inward bruise;

And that it was great pity, so it was,
This villanous salt-petre should be digg'd
Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
Which many a good tall fellow had destroy'd
So cowardly; and but for these vile guns,
He would himself have been a soldier!

This bald, unjointed chat of his, my lord,
I answer'd indirectly, as I said;
And I beseech you, let not his report
Come current for an accusation
Betwixt my love and your high majesty.


This used to be Decoration Day, when the survivors of the Grand Army of the Republic tended the graves of their dead. The American version was organized by those damn blue state liberals in Waterloo, New York and (a surprise to me) wasn't a legal federal holiday until Richard Nixon's presidency. I cannot imagine the sadness of those events, with plus or minus 620,000 dead boys and 215,000 of those KIA. I know it's what Lincoln wanted, but I hope we didn't make a mistake in forgiving the South; I know they haven't forgiven us.

And the gravesites in those old cemetaries really did need tending-- the description of the graveyard in "Tom Sawyer" isn't just for dramatic effect. Imagining this helps me comprehend my grandmother's goofy membership in the Spiritualist Church, crystal ball, Indian medium, Bible readings for bereaved black folks and all.

That Good Man Dr. Johnson, who warned us about over-enthusiastic professions of patiotism from scoundrels, also observed that "Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier, or not having been at sea... But, Sir, the profession of soldiers and sailors has the dignity of danger. Mankind reverence those who have got over fear, which is so general a weakness." Scott: "But is not courage mechanical, and to be acquired?" Johnson: "Why yes, Sir, in a collective sense. Soldiers consider themselves only as parts of a great machine."

It is a puzzle for biographers that Dashiell Hammett, a lone wolf if ever there was one, cheerfully enlisted in TWO world wars when he was well past the age for enlistment. He had scars on his lungs from tuberculosis (Hammett bribed the doctor to overlook the X-rays) and was fighting fascists in defense of an ungrateful nation that would later jail him for communism. The wars were like a vacation for his soul; always so proud of making his own rules, it was sheer luxury for a man like Hammett to be able to turn his conscience over to strangers for the duration.

That's the dirty little secret of the soldiers who fought against Germany, Imperialist Japan, and North Korea: bad people were hurting other people, and they had to be stopped, plain and simple. Imagine if North Korea's paranoid dreams had not been strangled in its crib; even China must sometimes breathe a sigh of relief. Never mind the projected one million American casualties: the Japanese Rape of the city of Nanking in 1938 ought to be enough for Truman to use the atom bomb without losing a moment's sleep. If you allow for truth being spoken by comedians, I belive the script for "Tootsie" said it best:
"... But the question is in the last analysis: WHAT were they doing for dough? You and me were advancing our little non-Prussian careers. So when all HELL broke loose, and the Germans ran out of SOAP, and figured, "What the hell? Let's cook up Mrs. Greenwald...!" Who the hell do you think STOPPED them?!?"

It is the tragedy of the Vietnam and September 11th generations that they turned over their consciences to scoundrels and then found themselves so badly used. Our friend James enlisted September 12th, expecting to ferrett out Osama bin Laden, and finds himself not combing the mountains of Pakistan, but walking from Bahrain to Baghdad, to Fallujah, to some other place, three tours of combat duty, an eyewitness to atrocities against civilians who were just standing by their mailbox when the American 7th passed through-- I mean, WTC? WTF!

Oddly, I find myself scribbling a few Memorial Day thoughts on how NOT to be a soldier. We were all a family of in-betweeners. I come by it honestly, old enough to register for the Vietnam draft but young enough to not worry about it. (The first American killed in Vietnam, Peter Dewey, was accidentally shot when the Vietnamese mistook him for a Frenchman in 1945, ten years before I was born. That, my friends, was a long fucking war.) My father was rejected for the Second World War because of a leg ruined by a water mocassin bite. He had to walk two miles out of the swamp and it almost killed him in spite of two months in the hopital. He almost made Korea and waited for five weeks at Camp Custer, but the leg is still to this day ruined with phlebitis and distended veins like a road map of the cottonmouth's poison. (They smell like rotten cucumbers before you step on them-- little tip.) My maternal grandfather was, I believe, too young for the First War but too old for the Second, though his exemption might had something to do with only having one testicle due to mumps. He was a gentle soul, and asking him to kill someone for anything other than the immediate defense of his family might have been like expecting a gentle South Sea Islander to act like a Maori. My father's father may have been an in-betweener as well, though he spent some mysterious weeks at Camp Polk during World War One. I sometimes wonder if there wasn't a felony in his past, what with his tendencey to contantly move his household off the two lane blacktop, past the gravel road, down the two track track to a cow path or deer trail to a foot trail and then another mile past that. To find a soldier in my direct bloodline, you'd have to go back to great-grandad Colonel Alphonse Swann Fountain, the Frenchman in the Scots-Irish woodpile, hung for stealing horses for the Confederacy, or from the Confederacy.

I don't believe any of us were pacifists. Those ideas were drummed out of me by several unprovoked attacks to the back of the head, and the classroom scenes in Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" taught me to see pacifism as a fool's dream, and a dangerous one. Add this to my forbears' well-earned skeptism towards demogogury and the "romance" of violence and it means I would have made a really lousy soldier.

My favorite boss Wyatt, himself a veteran, was worried about his teenage sons getting pulled into the Gulf War. I asked him why the military didn't recruit men my age-- at 28 I was nearing the peak of my physical condition, quicker, smarter, mentally tougher, much more prone to apply violence when needed, and less likely to do something stupid than I had been at a scrawny seventeen. "That's just it," he said. "You're too smart at 28, your personality's already formed. They want someone young that they can break down in bootcamp and then build them back up into the kind of soldier that they want. Someone your age, or my age now, if somebody gives us a really stupid order, we're more inclined to say "Fuck You, Sir" instead of "Right Away, Chief." Perhaps so, but it seems to me that the armies made up of a variety of men, from babyfaced virgins to old Nestor, found it easier to adjust to the exigencies of combat and the transition to peacetime.

I would make the lousiest soldier the gods ever put on this earth. For all the violence in my heart, and the knowledge that violence really does solve problems, and the personal ruthlessness to hit someone first and make them stay down, no one would want me in a mass army. I like to pick my own fights. I insist on making my own moral choices.

I am already a huge pain in the ass for the chain of command in civilian life. In a war, the state appoints another human with the authority to tell me who to kill, who to torture, when to die myself... A willing soldier takes the gamble that he will be serving God and not the Devil, and we've seen too much misplaced authority to take that risk without asking some hard questions first. "Whether the populations of the world are to live or die rests with the decisions of Malenkov, Mao Tse-Tung and Mr. John Foster Dulles, not with ordinary mortals like orselves," said Bertand Russell. "If they say, 'die', we shall die. If they say 'live', we shall live." And who the hell died and made them Queen? With a fierce song in my heart, I would follow Joshua Chamberlain down Little Round Top; if Franklin Roosevelt told me to jump in a hole as fertilizer for the Four Freedoms, I might know I was being used, but I would have the comfort that I was being used to build a better world. Now can you imagine being given such orders by the psychotic Stonewall Jackson, or Custer, or Dan Quayle, or George W. Bush, or Donald Rumsfeld, or...? Such is the nature of war fought with modern weapons and corporate personalities.

So let us honor the soldiers that died tragically young, that had their bodies torn apart in horrible ways, in honest love to "place their bodies between the enemy and their beloved homes." Such must be honored with tears and a attempt, with a trembling chin, to be deserving of the sacrifice. If we compare ourselves with animals, who embody our impulses with the purest of motives, then we must love these dead children as we love the baboon soldiers who will throw themselves at a leopard, knowing that at least some of them will be disembowled, but that the leopard will be driven off and the troop will be saved. A female meerkat sentry, smaller than my shoe, stood her ground against a jackal and was fatally wounded. She was dying, but when the troop moved on, they all groomed and nursed and comforted her, waited in the open for her to catch up at terrible risk to themselves, stayed by her side while she rested, stood at attention when she finally stood, moved three steps away from the comfort of her pack, and finally died.

But let us also, in the name of truth, say a darker prayer for the millions who lie here because they unthinkingly obeyed a monstrous order from a Himmler or a William Calley or a Quantrill. Old men will make war, and young men will too eagerly jump at the chance, and I'm not sure who most needs to be prayed out of Hell.


Okay, I used to feel sorry for Dennis Hastert, becoming Speaker of the House on the heels of a couple of REAL assholes.. but now he SO dearly needs to have his ass kicked from here to Sunday. This is me, advocating violence against a duly elected representative of the hapless people of Illinois. Getting in Hastert's personal space for just one good John Ford movie punch on the sweet spot would be worth going to jail, if only to let that hypocritical bastard feel for just... one... MOMENT the fear felt by true sons of the Constitution and the rest of the freedom loving world ever since the 2000 coup in Florida.

Are you having fun, now, Dennis? We've all had time to think about it and read the investigative journalism, and it WAS a coup, and the Constitution IS under attack. Forget about the Supreme Court rush job by the undearly departed Chief Justice and Sandra Day O'Connor's morning after remorse, forget about Florida and Ohio's Secretaries of State... Let's remember that riot, and the physical coercion of vote tabulators by Republican staffers flown in from Washington. Remember that, Dennis? Remember the 2004 highjinks in Ohio, where the Democratic districts suffered a mysterious shortage of voting machines, and university students had an EIGHT HOUR WAIT TO VOTE? Since then, we've had suspension of habeas corpus, harassment of dissidents, a pre-emptive invasion, at least 50,000 little kids and grandmas dead by violence and a billion dollar war that has doubled the number of terrorists gunning for American innocents... and NOW you speak up, now that the jackboot is getting mud on the carpet of the office next door? NOW you decided to speak up, you Fat Fuck?

It's like that scene in "DieHard" when one of the bad guys lands with a !Crumpf! on the hood of the cop car. Now imagine Dennis Hastert in the role of the drowsy cop. Imagine the ACLU as Bruce Willis, looking down from the window and yelling to Hastert: "WELCOME TO THE PARTY, PAL!!!"

Now that the royalist presidency is permitting search and seizure of congressional offices, Dennis Hastert has suddenly discovered that there's a Constitution, and something called Separation of Powers...? MotherFUCKER. No, too harsh. His own mother's womb is embarassed to have given birth to an equivocating traitor to the ideals of the United States.

Okay, I won't hit him with my fist. Besides, if men really struck each other like they do in a John Ford comedy, they'd break their hands and walk around whimpering for a week. But I'm gardening today, and there's a big heavy bag of cow flop out by the road with Hastert's name on it, and if the son of a bitch comes within 100 feet of my furious digging, the Speaker of the House is going to wind up smelling like the BULLSHIT that he's been eating with a spoon like it was sugar for Lo These Many Months.

Hey, yesterday I intimidated a comic book geek in a "Sin City" shirt who was complaining loudly in the bookstore about "Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's diDACtic lectures against [snide voice] 'cruelty to animals.'" Guess I'm on a roll. It's not that I've suddenly become an advocate for bullying the complacent-- I've spent my life in satyagraha-esque spiritual struggle AGAINST bullies. But in both these cases-- Dennis Hastert learning his civics lesson too late, and the comic book geek who didn't mind seeing someone ELSE suffer-- we have individuals who have always jested at scars because they never felt a wound, who have failed to develop empathy until they themselves were on the receiving end of a threat.

Ain't It Funny how the comic book geek and his pal quickly backpedaled and allowed as how they were VERY against animal cruelty, and how the brave little Pirate (a character in Morrison and Quitely's book) deserved a better fate, Yessir they were just on their way to send money to the Humane Society. All I did was move very close to them and ask, "What's... wrong... with... Being... Kind.. to Bunnies?" in my best imitation of a tyrannosaur idly chewing on a piece of sheet metal.

And Ain't It Funny how fast these congressmen have discovered the rights of the accused, now that THEY'RE the ones threatened with Guilt by Accusation???

Better late than never? I hope they choke on Alberto Gonzales's mealy-mouthed smile.

The Commonplace Book, Last Week of May

A couple of personal favorites to start:

“At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.” –Lincoln


"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to steal bread, and to beg in the streets." -- Anatole France


“There was a time when a vital center coalition existed in the Senate, where there was room on both sides for trading votes across party lines. The Republicans destroyed that coalition and Liebermann, inexplicably, doesn't seem to get that. Even worse, when the shit comes down, he inevitably sides with them. Many Democrats took a long time to learn the harsh lessons of GOP political hardball and had to lose to a bunch of thuggish right-wingers before they began to recognise what they were up against. Lieberman still refuses to accept the fact that his high minded centrism is a weapon in the hands of the radical Republicans.”
-- from “Centrist Know-Nothings” at Digby's Hullabaloo

“There is a certain reverence for the sociopath as a major cultural type in American society, along with the frontiersman, the puritan and the outlaw.”
Robert Stone


From a list of “50 Favorite Marvel comic book characters” by Wheeler on LiveJournal:
“Nick Fury
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
Superspy. Eyepatch. Cigar. Gun. Giant citadel held aloft by helicopter rotors. Flying cars. Robot clones. Holograms. Hot Italian contessa girlfriend. The definition of cool. These days, Nick Fury doesn't smoke cigars, because Marvel editor Joe Quesada lost family to lung cancer. I lost family when Godzilla took down a SHIELD Helicarrier over San Diego, but that doesn't seem to bother those insensitive shits at Marvel.”
“Swarm, Fritz von Meyer
Created by Bill Mantlo and John Byrne.
Swarm has appeared in comics only a scant handful of times, yet he has massive cult appeal. To understand why, there's just one thing you need to know about Swarm: He's a Nazi made of radioactive bees. Shakespeare only wishes he'd come up with stuff this good.”


“On the other hand, it's possible for a talented wanna-be who's written a good book to stress out at the prospect of actually submitting the thing, and suffer a debilitating attack of multiply recursive self-consciousness, which eats up every scrap of processing capacity and so impairs their judgment. That is: A good book can have a bad cover letter.”
-–Teresa Neilsen Hayden


TO: The Citizens of the United States of America

RE: Revocation of Your Independence

In the light of your failure to elect a proper President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories. (Except Utah, which she does not fancy much.) Your new prime minister (The Right Honourable Tony Blair, MP for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will appoint a minister for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

“But Constantine takes the liberties of adaptation too far. In the comics, John Constantine is a snarky blond working class Brit whose iconography includes chain smoking and wearing a dingy yellow trenchcoat. He is not a mopey black-haired American with a big gun and tattoos. Calling the guy in this movie John Constantine is an insult. If you made a movie of From Hell, which is largely about Jack the Ripper, and decided to change Jack the Ripper into an American stalking the streets of '20 Chicago with a tommy gun, no matter how good the movie was people would be rightly upset. So I'm pissed. As rumour has it [apparently confirmed as true—OEE ed.] Alan Moore has instructed (DC Comics) to not credit him as the creator of the character. And putting his money where his mouth is, he has instructed that the royalties that he was splitting with his co-creators goes exclusively to the artists (Rick Veitch and Stephen Bissette) .... Often we hear about an artist upset that his creation has been butchered but this is the first I can recall where the creator asked that both name and money be rejected.”
-- Jonathan Korman in his blog -- Miniver Cheevy

“No-one who sees a system as "natural and inevitable" can really examine it; this is why minority groups create the best comedians, generally.” --Michael O’Hare

“David Broder is such a wanker. And, as pointed out at Tiny Revolution:
MR. RUSSERT: David Broder, is it possible for official Washington--the president, Democratic leaders, Republican leaders--to arrive at common ground, a consensus position on Iraq?
MR. DAVID BRODER: It's possible, Tim, but they won't get there by arguing about who did what three years ago. And this whole debate about whether there was just a mistake or misrepresentation or so on is, I think, from the public point of view largely irrelevant. The public's moved past that.

“And, as pointed out at Tiny Revolution: Just days after he said this, a New York Times poll found that 80% of Americans felt it was "very" (56%) or "somewhat" (24%) important for Congress to investigate Bush's use of intelligence on Iraq.

“In Broder's world: Figuring out how we got into this catastrophic war, not so important. Not only that, he assumes because it isn't important to him it must not be important to anyone. This is called the Pulling It Our Of Your Ass school of punditry, something the Dean has apparently mastered in his old age.” -- Atrios

"In essence, the basic question of philosophy (as of psychoanalysis) is the same as that of the detective novel: who is guilty? " -- Umberto Eco
-- Art by John Kricfalusi, that Magnificent Bastard


Godson Liam, aka Bondi, aka future editor of ORMONDROYD'S ENCYCLOPEDIA ESOTERICA, is being brought up properly with this
"Chibi" style plush Godzilla-- and when he graduates from infancy to baby-boyhood, on his nursery shelf there awaits a more realistic (but still cuddly) twelve-inch high plush Godzilla kaiju to snuggle. God pity the bad dream that wanders into a bedroom guarded by the Lord of Monster Island, GODZILLA, KING OF MONSTERS!

TWILIGHT TALES author WAYNE ALLEN SALLEE taught his young niece Ashley Mavros to read by introducing her to uber-texts such as Forrest Ackerman's FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND and the JOHN AGAR NEWSLETTER. MOLE PEOPLE synopsis from MST3K: "Smiling idiot John Agar takes Hugh Beaumont and Nestor Paiva beneath the surface of the Earth so that they have no place to run when he begins his windy pontificating through his muscled pie-hole. There they find Alan Napier and other thin men living out their sad existence in pleated skirts. Though aggressive at first, the pigmentless dress-wearers are cowed by Agar's mighty flashlight and shown the secret of their slaves, The Mole People. Actually, it's a matter of some controversy whether the mole creatures or their masters are the eponymous ones. Both could be considered "Mole People," as the former are indeed "moles" of a sort and the latter live among them - "Mole People." I became distracted by this and don't remember the rest of the movie, though I think Agar and friends escape. Without Nestor Paiva, no big loss. " As of this writing, there is no plush John Agar available.

The Commonplace Book of Quotations-- Current Obsessions and Preoccupations

From a blog called The Evil Editor:
“You seem to have confused "requesting manuscripts" with "reading manuscripts." An average timeline, measuring time in sentences (or ETU's, which, for those of you outside the editorial loop, stands for Editorial Time Units), for reading a requested manuscript is as follows:
3 ETU's: Start thinking, What planet was I on, and what was I smoking, when I requested this?
5 ETU's: Toss MS onto recycling mountain in corner, pour self a stiff one, and pop in DVD of Misery to watch an author being tortured.”

(forwarded by Naseem)

“What has been lost in the debate about immigration is this fact: our country’s foreign and economic policy is largely to blame for the flow of people who come here illegally…If you think about the hundreds of thousands of people who have come here over the past several decades from countries like El Salvador and Guatemala, many of them fled to the U.S. because they would have been killed or imprisoned by their government’s repressive regimes or forced to live as refugees. These were often regimes that our government supported for many years, if not decades, with large infusions of weapons and money.”
-- Jonathan Tasini (Hillary Clinton’s opponent for the NY Democratic senatorial nomination)

[OEE note: Let the Republicans show their pious respect for the law by making it a felony to HIRE illegal immigrants.]

“The Post has a graphic depicting that this war in Iraq, in dollar terms, has surpassed the U.S. Civil War, the first Gulf War, and World War I in cost. We are going to surpass the Korean War in 9 months. And we are spending at a rate far greater than we were in Vietnam, and will surpass Vietnam in about 24 months.“
-– Steve Clemons, The Washington Note

“If you want to learn how to play anything you want to play and learn how to make songs yourself, you take your guitar and you go to where a road crosses that way, where a crossroad is. Get there, be sure to get there just a little 'fore 12.00 that night so you know you'll be there. You have your guitar and be playing a piece there by yourself. A big black man will walk up there and take your guitar and he'll tune it. And then he'll play a piece and hand it back to you. That's the way I learned to play anything I want.” --Tommy Johnson, brother of Rev. Ladell Johnson (no relation to Robert)

Nobel Peace Prize-winner and Iranian human rights advocate and
dissident Shirin Ebadi was asked on PBS last week about the $75 million the US State Department intends to spend supporting pro-democracy groups in her country, to which she answered, "Can democracy be brought to people by bombs? Democracy is a culture. It has to come from within a society, not brought by America to a society."

Qwest, fourth-largest phone company in the US, refused to turn the company's calling records over to the government because of "a disinclination on the part of the authorities to use any legal process," according to their lawyer.



Hear the sound of the falling rain
Coming down like an Armageddon flame (Hey!)
The shame
The ones who died without a name

Hear the dogs howling out of key
To a hymn called "Faith and Misery" (Hey!)
And bleed, the company lost the war today

I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives
On holiday

Hear the drum pounding out of time
Another protestor has crossed the line (Hey!)
To find, the money's on the other side

Can I get another Amen? (Amen!)
There's a flag wrapped around a score of men (Hey!)
A gag, a plastic bag on a monument...

--“Holiday” by Green Day (on "American Idiot")
"As with all the monsters of legend, the death and destruction of the werewolf requires some special effort. And once the lycanthrope, like the vampire and even the animated mummy, acquired a subconscious and a sense of tragedy, it gained a tragic flaw. Putting aside silver bullets (merely an instrument) we find that the secret ingredient is... love.....Whenever the end must involve someone who was emotionally involved with the werewolf's human persona... Very often it is this person who strikes the deathblow, and then watches, with deep sorrow or deep shock as appropriate, as the fangs retract and the hair does whatever it is the hair does..."
-- John M. Ford, in his collection “Heat of Fusion”

"See---one kind of my face is gentle and kind, incapable of anything but love of my fellow man. The other side, the other profile, is cruel and predatory and evil, incapable of anything but the lusts and dark passions. It all depends on which side faces the moon at the ebb of the tide."
--Lionel Atwill, 1944 (quote provided by Wayne Sallee)

Oh wrangling schools, that search what fire
Shall burn this world, had none the wit
Unto this knowledge to aspire,
That this her fever might be it ?
-- John Donne, “A Fever”

“A few years ago, I drove nearly seven hours to read two stories at a
Monday night session hosted by the Twilight Tales Reading Group in Chicago. And every penny I spent to get there and back was well worth it. The Twilight Tales gang are some of the nicest people you can meet, and they are amazingly supportive of writers. Not just horror writers either. Just plain W R I T E R S.” -- Judy Rohrig

“After being asked ... to speak at an event held at the International Reading Association's conference in Chicago earlier this month, [Patricia] Polacco said she accepted the invitation through her staff.
A number of exchanges between Buchanan and Polacco's people followed, largely regarding what the author would discuss at the event, until Polacco was ultimately told she could not speak against No Child Left Behind in her speech.
.... Because SRA/McGraw-Hill publishes a number of the tests used in NCLB, the house was not eager to have Polacco speak her mind on the Bush-established initiative. And, after Polacco refused to alter her speech, she was dropped from the program.” – Publishers’ Weekly

See Also:
"We're literally going to drown in our own uneducated"
Why am I being played by a 16-year-old lipgloss model?,
"He was like a murderer annoyed at being called a shoplifter",
"I've had far more sex than I've had fights on water towers against guys with super powers"


See the funny man stop smiling about halfway through Stephen Colbert's routine.

Let us not forget that this is the man who thought it was funny to mock a woman he was about to execute. This is the man who responded to Cindy Sheehan, "I'’m not meeting again with that goddamned bitch! She can go to hell as far as I'’m concerned!" This is the man who reacted to the "Bullshit Detectors" worn by elderly Veterans of Foreign Wars by saying, "tell those VFW assholes that I'’ll never speak to them again if they can'’t keep their members under control!" This is the person who thought it was funny to mock his own search for WMDs at the 2004 correspondents' dinner, but that's okay: the death toll was lower then.

Bully, blame and denial, bully, blame and denial, the tired litany of what we used to call "a dry drunk", who loses the alcohol but none of the attitude.

Leave a Thank You note for Stephen Colbert HERE.

Some Insight on the presidential temper tantrums HERE.

Complete transcript of Colbert's routine HERE.

And a calm assessment by Doug Elfman HERE.

I USED TO BE DISGUSTED, NOW I'M JUST AMUSED: An Ongoing (and Apparently Bottomless) Series

Voice of America transcript, Atlanta, 04 May 2006:

Donald Rumsfeld: "... It appears there were not weapons of mass destruction."

Ray McGovern [reportedly an analyst with the CIA for 27 years]: "You said you knew where they were."

Rumsfeld: "I did not. I said I knew where suspect sites were."

McGovern: You said you knew where they were, near Tikrit, near Baghdad and north, east, south and west of there. Those are your words. I'd just like an honest answer."

Rumsfeld: "I'm giving it to you."

From Reuter's:

"... A week and a half into the war, Rumsfeld was asked on March 30, 2003, on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," whether he found it curious that U.S. forces had not yet found weapons of mass destruction.
"Not at all," Rumsfeld responded, according to a Pentagon transcript of the interview. "We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat," Rumsfeld stated.
"Rumsfeld on January 20, 2003, said Saddam's government had "large, unaccounted for stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, including VX, sarin, mustard gas, anthrax, botulism, and possibly smallpox," as well as "an active program to acquire and develop nuclear weapons."

From Jean Leon Gerome : Diogenes lighting his lantern, searching for an honest man in the daytime, while sympathetic dogs look on.

See Also: The Utter Futility of Speaking Truth to Liars, The Consolations of Boethius, Chickenhawks Come Home to Roost, Confabulatory Amnesia, The Rumsfeld/Saddam Handshake, and Lawrence Wikerson Transcript

6,500,000 People Can Be Wrong

A stupefying concept, buried in an AP story about Geena Davis' ABC show "Commander-In-Chief":
"'if elected to another season uh, term,' Davis joked, 'whatever I can do to make change happen quicker in the fake world, I promise to do.' Poll results don't look promising. The show ranked No. 64 in the Nielsen Media Research rankings last week, with 6.5 million viewers."

6,500,000 people watch a show, but that's NOT ENOUGH to keep it on the air??? I've never seen the show and am indifferent to its fate, but what kind of a culture can we expect from an industry that, on a daily basis, has to please more than SIX MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND AND ONE HUMAN BEINGS AT THE SAME TIME??? I cannot conceive of anything I do or would WANT to do that would entertain that many people, short of broadcasting baby animals.