Acting Up

My musings, thoughts, rants, and discoveries. - Scott Maddock

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Location: Redmond, Washington, U.S. Inc. (Formerly U.S.A.)

Allie's Journey

For the next several months this will be dedicated to information pertinent to Allene M. Maddock. Her care has been assumed by Hospice as of 06Apr12.

Please feel free to call or write her. If you call be patient and take time to explain who you are. Currently she remembers, but you have to help her focus so she truly knows who she is talking to at the moment. We have to do this too, and I frequently say something like, "Yes this is Scott, your oldest."

Her phone is area code two-zero-six, and the number is 216 3816.

Her Address:
Allie Maddock
c/o Queen Ann Manor
100 Crockett Street
Seattle, Washington

Thursday, February 16, 2006


I've been hunting a number of times in my life. While duck hunting I've been showered with spent pellets several times. Those are usually from so far away you don't even know where they came from. No more impact than moderate hail. I've accidentally discharged a weapon, brutally wounding the bed in the travel trailer I lived in my first year of community college. (If our old family friends to whom we gave the trailer still have it, I could show you the hole in the wooden slat for the bed.) Terribly embarrassing, and I immediately made abject apologies to my hapless victim, Mr. Shasta Trailer. He was unmoved.

I'll be up front about my feelings. I despise Dick Cheney as a man. His statements about Vietnam and his vicious attacks on people who did think fighting for their country was important, displays an arrogant cowardice. The circumstantial evidence abounds, and I believe the man has and will enthusiastically sell his soul and integrity to Halliburton, big oil, or anyone else willing to pony up. Sadly, he is still getting premium value for those used up resources. When Dick Cheney and truth meet it is a coincidence, a chance meeting between strangers.

Despite feeling Dick is the vilest sort of scum the human gene pool and modern culture can produce, I saw his hunting accident as nothing more than bad timing and and a minor lapse of judgment. A simple accident of the type we've all experienced many times throughout our lives. It was more dire, but no more nefarious than accidentally plugging my mattress. End of story. Or it should have been. The prolonged silence, which I didn't believe was a cover-up, but certainly produced the appearance of one, giving people a reasonable cause for thinking there was indeed an attempted cover-up.

The facts dribbling out indicate the prolonged silence was calculated. Wait and see how people react to the story, so statements can be made with the most effective spin.

The reaction to blaming Mr. Whittington for getting himself shot was immediately hammered by both ends of the political spectrum as disingenuous and a metaphor for how the administration demonizes those whom they hurt. Oops, that wasn’t according to plan, you'd better take responsibility on this one.

Had Dick apologized and taken blame for his actions immediately I would have believed him. Instead he 'allowed' Katharine Armstrong to disclose the incident to the local press. She was the one who test-blamed the bright orange clad Mr. Whittington who came up BEHIND for getting himself shot. There are lots of problems, all of which had been discussed in the press. First, the victim was well out of Dick’s shooting range which is the area in front of you. Second, the one responsible for where ordnance goes is always the responsibility of the shooter. Third, Ms. Armstrong did not even witness the event. She was sitting in a car, and commented she thought the medical folks were rushing out to assist Dick, guessing his heart needed another jump start. Then the silly bitch spent her credibility insisting an incident she did not witness was the victim’s fault. Her fifteen minutes of fame was being Dick’s sacrificial lamb. Poor lamb. There are more inconsistencies, but these are the most blatant and consitently reported.

Dick admitted to having a beer with lunch. Excuse me? Who really cares about everything else? A responsible hunter does not drink a freaking drop before picking up a firearm. Period. You don't imbibe until you have set the deadly weapons aside for the day. I'm sure alcohol was not a legal factor, even if the sheriff had the hutzpah to do a blood alcohol I assume it still would have been within 'legal' limits. So, how big was the beer? Was it a Good-Ole-Pal Super Gulp 800? After all, everything is bigger in Texas. And as anyone who ever drank in college, or listened to a problem drinker knows, an admission to one beer is a lie of omission almost all the time, as it avoids mentioning the other two or three which went along with it.

There was also expert conjecture on the distance. The pellet density is too high and penetration is too deep for the thirty yard scenario. This I'd say is debatable as we don't know if steel shot, or the heavier lead shot was used. Still, it sounds like the victim likely picked up more pellets than you'd reasonably expect at that distance. I wonder if beer makes judging distance difficult?

Most of these observations came from statements made by Cheney and his supporters. (Google the news stories if you doubt.)

Chertoff has copied Cheney’s example of belated assumption of responsibility. He like Dick, realized the bilateral public reaction to his actions was so adamant against him he came up with his own delayed and nearly identical 'heartfelt' response.

Chertoff called Katrina a storm of ``unprecedented magnitude'' and ``one of the most difficult and traumatic experiences of my life.''
I can’t help wondering about the dead and displaced people in the South. They didn’t need to face a senate hearing months later, they knew it was one of the most difficult and traumatic experiences in their lives when it actually happened.

In the interview with Fox News, Cheney accepted blame for the shooting and said it was "one of the worst days of my life."
Again I can’t help but make the obvious comment. Unlike Dick, I bet Mr. Whittington knew it was one of worst days of his life the same day it happened.


Blogger B.D. said...

I've given this some thought. The problem with the conspiracy theorists is that they are generally trying to have it both ways. On the one hand, these people tend to hate their subject and mock it as incompetent. On the other hand, conspiracy theorists tend to then claim that somehow this incompetent target somehow pulls it together long enough to come up with a plan to try and fool the public. Often times there is little to no evidence to support the conclusions.

Let it be known, I have hammered the Bush administration as being incompetent. As the brains behind the throne, Cheney therefore has to be terribly incompetent as does Rove, Rummy, Rice, et al. Unfortunately, with this incident, the Cheney incompetence has outdone itself and given a bit of gristle for the conspiracy theorists to gnaw on. This particular gristle seems to have some greater substance compared to other samples in other theories.

Do I think that they were trying to hide something? Probably. But I'm not convinced that they were trying to hide Cheney's drinking. It could have been something of a different nature, such as Cheney's girlfriend...or Whittington's girlfriend or drunkeness or some such (would offer one explanation as to why he apologized). Why didn't Cheney go to the hospital? That's the real question in the story - the heart of it. I'm willing to bet that Cheney was in CYA mode and that he was being incompetent.

More incompetence: I'm willing to wager that the reason that Whittington was taken to a hospital much further away from his location with lower quality facilities had to do with media exposure. Rather than thinking about his friend, Cheney decided to cover his ass. Why wasn't the press informed sooner? Again, I think that it's a combination of incompetence and the fact that Cheney was in CYA mode and, likely, they were waiting to see if Whittington would die. These actions are despicable nonetheless, but probably the more mundane interpretation, rather than the conspiracy theory, is the correct one.

You're right that arrogance plays a role in this as well. No question. Arrogance and incompetence are a lethal mixture. Or in Whittington's case, near lethal.

Finally, we're left with the perplexing question as to why Mr. Whittington apologized. I've suggested one explanation above, but I suspect another. These people live in a different world than the one you and I live in. People at that level treat the President and his people as almost as kings. Many people buy into this. Look at how our media continues to refer to ex-presidents as "President" when, grammatically that is incorrect. Some people are subservient to the politicians in ways that it is unbecoming of being an American. Listen to the Nixon tapes to understand what I mean. Kissinger calling Nixon "Mr. President" all of the time instead of "Dick" - this when he thought the conversations were private. I mean, it's a cultural thing. Can you imagine Gore saying that to Clinton? Perhaps. I wouldn't however, except in public speaking. God, Bill Gates doesn't even require that. So, I think Whittington was just being polite and subservient to Cheney when he apologized in a way that those of us who live outside of that culture could not quite understand.

5:38 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

The conspiracy theorists keep getting closer to the truth though. Not that they are becoming less fantastical, rather the corruption is becoming more fantastical. The apparent claiming of the bad guys being both brilliant and idiotic has some historical basis. Hubris.

They have the smarts to garner power, but lack the vision and inclination to comprehend how they are perceived, which ultimately limits the power they can yield. Borrowing from an old adage, maybe they assume once we’ve been fooled twice there is too much shame to ever resist foolishness. I hope they are fooling themselves now.

I don’t think they are trying to hide Cheney’s drinking either. For me it is just another example of the arrogance of these people.

This guy is probably on a dozen meds for his ticker, and he has a beer with lunch. It is a questionable decision on that basis alone. Even if he is not on some prescription cocktail, drinking and hunting is incredibly irresponsible. Even the good old boys, who were proud to be rednecks, I hung out with in Georgia detested hunters that drank, with good reason too. Dick’s reactions were compromised, and I’d bet real money he drank more than he admitted to.

I actually find it more disturbing they didn’t try to cover up the drinking. It seems they were silly in the way they attempted to cover up some things, but assumed inexcusable behavior contributing to the accident was acceptable.

I agree with you, Whittington’s bizarre apology is explained by the rarified social level they dwell in, which also contributes to the hubris.

It would be fun to joke that Dick promised to take Harry hunting again if he didn’t blame himself, and I’d be willing to bet Dick would fantasize along those lines too. It could be no more than fantasy, because he hasn’t yet got the power to get away with it in this country.

12:15 PM  

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