The American Renaissance

Baja Canada del Sur: Comedy and Comment in the Age of Occupation

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Location: Little Rock, Arkansas

found done in needlepoint on Mel's Front Porch: I Pledge Alligence to the Constitution of the United States of America. And to the Republic for which it guarantees, One Nation, Undeniable, with Liberty, Truth, and Justice for All.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Happiness is a Warm Gun -- and a Cold Beer

Well, folks, it's been a week since Unca Dick mistook a 78-year-old lawyer for a half-pound bird. And I hear Harry is somewhat of an anomaly in Texas; he's got a reputation of being a level-headed, moderate Republican. Now I spent about 15 years livin' down in the Lone Star State, and know such a thing is more scarce than hen's teeth. Makes me wonder if violating the Endangered Species Act is an impeachable o-fense.

I know everybody else has been having a field day (field -- high grass -- get it?) making jokes, but bear with me while I chime in. Now that I've quit gut-laughing uncontrollably.

For starters, it doesn't take an Einstein to figure out why nobody found out about a Saturday happy hour shootin' until about church-time Sunday morning. Every half-bright drunk in America knows it's a lot better to get charged with leaving the scene of an accident than to wait around for the cops to get there and breath-alize 'em. Do the math.

Then there's the 'eye-witness' account of ranch owner/diva (and lobbyist) Katharyn Armstrong; she starts off saying she saw the medics heading over to where Cheney and buddies were, and her initial thought was that Unca Dick must of had another heart attack. Then she went on to describe the shooting in detail. This was covered in detail on Arianna's blog, and the obvious conclusion is that if Katie thought Dick had a coronary, she couldn't have been close enough to 'eye-witness' the actual shooting. More elementary math.

The first report I heard of this little faux pas on the part of the Veep, this ol' gal actually said that Harry 'failed to make his presence known' or some such nonsense, and that resulted in his being injured. Now I know every Bubba in the country sat up and said "Huh?" Anybody who knows anything about hunting knows that the responsibility of where any shot ends up at is with the person pulling the trigger. I saw a picture on the news of the areas of Whittington's body that were peppered with the birdshot, and I got news for you - that wasn't any boo-boo shot from a hundred feet away. Looks more like about a 10 foot range (they don't call it a scattergun for nothing), and not too much of it missed the lawyer.

Not to mention exactly what these two ol' boys were doin' out in the willy-wags with a couple of wimmin other than their wives anyway. I guess Lynne must have been too busy writing one of her steamy novels; or maybe she's still working on her PMRC campaign with Tipper. Guess she already knows what Craig Ferguson does; if you spend the weekend with a Dick, you might get shot in the face.

Thank God Unca Dick himself finally went on TV to tell us all what really happened. On FoxNews. Ain't that a bitch.

And now that we've all had a good laugh, let's get back to the real issues. Shooting a friend is the least of Cheney's crimes, and if I were a bitter woman, I might suggest that it was a timely distraction from the really fowl deeds.

Friendly fire, indeed.

Allow me to submit a correction: In paragraph 5, I should have said 10 yards instead of 10 feet; I apologize to everyone for the unintentional undermisestimentation. Read in context, there is still a big difference in 30 feet and 100 feet. And in the interest of full disclosure, it is quite possible, nay, even likely, that at the time I first typed this post, I may have been past the point of being able to legally operate a motor vehicle in my state of residence -- that means the partaking of more than one beer, less than six. At last check, it is still legal to operate a computer keyboard -- even if possibly under the influence. And especially considering I didn't shoot anyone.

My apologies for the mistake, and any undo distress it may have caused.


Blogger Wadena said...


Please don't get too upset. I love Liberals and am myself left of Liberal, but I have to address your rather haughtily expressed errors.

You are a perfect example of the multitude of well-meaning, outraged and totally misinformed attacks on Cheney that I have seen over the last few days.

Have you ever hunted upland game birds?

Ever patterned a shotgun?

While some of what you wrote may make SOME sense.....your statement that the distance was "10 feet" marks you as being in total darkness about shotgun ballistics.

At 10 feet the pattern of a shotgun will have a diameter of four or five inches (yes, that includes the 28 Gauge shotgun).

The premier quail hunting load for the 28 gauge is the Winchester Super-X that carries a full ounce of
number eight pellets (that's 409 pellets) at a velocity of 1200 feet per second.

Any way you look at it.....this is a deadly and densely packed cluster of fast-moving lead.

That means that at six feet it is so small and powerful that it would either have missed or done traumatic damage (like almost entirely severing a limb or killing the victim immediately with a direct hit in the torso).

I haven't heard an official statement as to how many pellets actually HIT Whittington, but I'd guess from the estimates I've seen (and from looking at his face and neck) that he was caught by the edge of a shot pattern of pellets in excess of three feet in diameter.....meaning 60 to 90 feet is a perfectly reasonable distance estimate depending on the choke of that particular barrel of that particular shotgun.

Generally in the 28 gauge under/over, the lower barrel (which is usually fired first) is a fairly open choke (between improved cylinder and modified).

The upper barrel (which is usually fired second) is choked a bit tighter (between modified and full).

At 20 to 30 yards (60 to 90 feet) this load and the more open choke would be consistent with Whittington's wounds if the edge of that large pattern hit him coming from the side and slightly to his front.

You are also misinformed about hunting safety routines. Hunters are not all "Bubbas," as you seem to think.

Whittington was at fault when he rejoined the hunting party without communicating that he was doing so.....and thus he bears a large portion of the blame for this accident.

He was right to apologize, because IF he had simply called out to Cheney that he was coming back....this unfortunate accident probably would never have happened.

He was certainly "first cause" and he has rightly apologized.

It's all closed.

Cheney has come out of a firestorm of thousands of ill-informed and far-fetched moonbat attacks and is now vindicated.

How screetchy, stupid, unattractive and crazy does that make Liberals look?

Meanwhile, many other critically important issues have been forgotten in the rush to join the mob to lynch Cheney.

As to your other points....

Yes, those good old boys may have had a couple of beers.

But we don't know that.

Yes, they may cheat on their wives.

But we don't know that either....and, it's really none of our business.

Somehow, trying to damn a war criminal for having a minor hunting accident strikes me as being very close to the ultimate silliness.

And Liberals really can't afford to indulge themselves in the silliness area.

Let's get back to important issues.

9:31 AM  
Blogger meldonna said...

Dear wadena,

Thanks for your comments; bear with me, and allow me to retort.

Please pardon whatever ballistic errors I may have made, but I too have shot a gun, and have talked to several Bubbas (being from Arkansas, 'Bubba' is not a slur to me)...they tend to agree that the official story and their own experience doesn't seem to jibe here. And I haven't talked to anyone that doesn't believe the first report that Harry was somehow to blame for being shot was anything but blatant spin, the usual type of blame the victim Rove mentality we're become so used to, and that too many accept as gospel. For the record, I am going to stand by my belief that if you have a dadgum gun in your hands, you are the responsible party when said firearm discharges. Common sense.

As for being "rather haughty", I must disagree, and am somewhat disappointed -- I was intending to be the SmartAss Supreme, way the HELL over the top, in the same vein with the many humorous comments being made in many different places in the past week. That may be why I'm being taken to task for being well-meaning but stupid; what we seem to have here is failure to communicate. I'm not sure that any joke would stand up to the type of precise forensics you've applied, but it's a free country, and you've certainly a right to say what's on your mind. As do I -- so I'm not going to get too upset, friend. I don't know anything more than Letterman, or anybody else for that matter, does about exactly what happened last Satruday, especially with the morphing "official story", but I'm sure not going to worry about the opinions of folks who make Cindy Sheehan into some sort of crazy harridan for speaking her mind. I'm just having some fun being a smart alec on my own blog, and I intend to continue to do so. While I still can -- Vive la Constitution!!!

Besides -- it's not like I told someone to go fuck themselves on the Senate floor or anything.

Long as we're talking about sounding screetchy, stupid, unattractive and crazy.

All my snarkiness aside, one of my main points was that there are indeed more important issues. It does, however, seem to me that Dead Eye Dick's bad shootin', and the sneaky way the whole incident was handled, is just a very good example of exactly how the entire administration operates. Cheney's mea culpa on Fox was not only several days late, it was short way more than a dollar. You will recall Bush 'took responsibility' for the federal response to Katrina -- and that hasn't done squat to help the Gulf folks get back on their feet. Pardon me if I'm not taken in or placated by either of these empty "apologies".

Liberals and progressives might do better, and get more accomplished, if we stand together to get rid of these clowns instead of nitpicking one another. The use of humor and satire has a long, long, history in political discourse; it is my personal tool of choice, and I feel a valid one. I hope, in the future, when you come back to my blog, you will take what I write in the tongue-in-cheek manner it's intended. And I do hope you come back; your time and attention is appreciated!

my best,

ps What a pretty cat! ;)

4:25 PM  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

Wow, I am stunned- I thought your post was great- funny, sharp, snarky and humorous....And I thought Wadena was a liberal kitty....I guess I was wrong? I am shocked....See it is important- here's why-
The Asshole actually WORKS for us- our taxes pay for his full medical contigent and for his trips to it friggin matters...and he shot an old man point blank...and almost killed him( over 200 pellets into his body- some still Lodged in his organs- liver, larnyx, and heart, so he still might die from lead poisoning) . His $50,000 Italian gun was pretty powerful- but to penetrate organs and clothing- he definently was 30-60 feet. ( Medical experience- ER and PICU, not hunting certified) Most hunting wounds with Quail are rump- some poor soul picking up the bird- Whitty was shot in the face and chest....hmm, guess Cheney didn't see the VEST??? ( or did he just aim for it???)
There are still many questions, and many problems with the story- and Cheney is damn lucky that the old guy lived- otherwise he would be facing Manslaughter charges. Americans have EVERY right to be outraged- Elected leader shot an old man and lied and tried to hide it. We have Criminals in office we should dialogue and even joke about their crimes- because atleast we are talking and asking Important questions....Keep up the great blogging Mel....IT MATTERS...

5:32 PM  
Blogger meldonna said...

Thanks, e; I think we're of a like mind on this one. The entire incident is all about what the administration is all about -- secrecy and ass-covering to place itself above the law. What is so galling is that these guys will lie and cover up when the truth will serve them as well, if not better. It seems to be a hard habit to break.

And just to clear up where I got my impression of the shot pattern? The diagram I saw showed a very tight cluster around the upper chest and lower neck, with the stray pellets in the cheek and upper torso. Damn right the old boys got lucky...both of them.

Also, in the spirit of full disclosure, reading this article was what got me to thinking. I do enjoy Arianna's blog; she's a lot more fun now that she's crossed back over from the Dark Side of the Force.

I don't care whether Cheney goes down for this one, or any of his other nefarious deeds; doesn't matter to me. Tax evasion put Capone on the Rock -- I'll take what I can get.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Wadena said...

Ok, tongue in cheek. THAT I CAN believe.

Does that go for you too, E4E??? Surely you can't be serious?

You don't actually think he was hit by 200 pellets? That's positively false information. There's a good picture of Whittington's face and throat out now and it's pretty easy to see that there are about ten wounds in his face and throat.

You think there are 190 elsewhere?

I've been editing and adding to my post over on Tigertale off and on today and my ballistics conclusions are now bullet-proof.

I guess that doesn't mean a thing if you simply don't get the ballistics or your vision is clouded by emotion.

Or I'm somehow missing the satire.

The overwhelming NEED to GET something on Cheney is obviously influencing huge numbers of people and causing some real extreme statements.

I'm just glad to be a voice of reason.

(Cheshire smile)

9:33 PM  
Blogger Wadena said...

Also Mel.....that Huffington may be entertaining, but she's not real astute when it comes to ballistics.

And I'd like to see the diagram you mention....if it's from the Texas Wildlife Department--that one was too blurry to make any conclusions.

9:40 PM  
Blogger meldonna said...

It's all good, Cheshire-chan. And I got a chance to read further into your blog, and understand more about your frustrations and feelings on the subject. Believe me, I'd much rather go hunting with you than Unca D.! Even when you get to 78...

I want to commend had a bad experience when you were young, and not only did the right thing at the time, you also took that experience and built on it to go on and continue to be a responsible firearm user and owner. Certainly my post on my blog was in no way intended to make light of accidents or near-accidents that cause trauma for hunters. It's a funny thing, though, that freedom of speech...I don't guess Unca Dick's gonna be reading my piddly little blog and be losing sleep over it. Not the way I lose sleep over the blood shed for him and his war-profitteering. I think I'm a fairly reasonable woman, and what got up MY nose was not so much the shooting itself, but the sleazy way it was handled. Had everything been more forthcoming, there wouldn't be all this speculation of how much drinking was going on (and there was beer at lunch, Katharyn said so), or the minutae of ballistics. I do know, from living in Texas, and an accidental shooting involving a friend, that any gunshot wound requires by state law a police report AT THE TIME OF THE INCIDENT...certainly that should have been done at the hospital when Whittington arrived, and it would be interesting to see such a report. I believe I'm justified in being disgusted at laws being bent, and the overwhelming appearance of impropriety. I chose to go onto my own blog and vent my disgust with, as I've said, tongue firmly in cheek, all of the conflicting reports and stories from the officials and witnesses.

You were a kid who did the right thing; this is a case of a man who consistantly makes the wrong moral choices, and if I make bad jokes at his expense, in the big picture, I certainly won't feel at all bad. Free speech is messy, but then again so is democracy.

And consider this: Should someone come forward, like a ranch employee, that could testify that there was in fact quite a bit of drinking done with the haunch of antelope the hunters noshed on at lunch, would that make it worthwhile for the jerks like me that aren't quite ready to let yet another cover-up pass us by? There may be a Linda Trippsomewhere...and if it is possible the the veep was under the influence when the accident happened, that would put it in a different light.

The obvious logical conclusion, to avoid all of the hoopla, would have been for the VP to have talked to the local authorities Saturday evening, submitted to a breathalyser test at that point had there been an odor of alcohol on his person, and had the White House issue a timely press release on an unfortunate accident. That none of these things were done is the reason for all of the over the top speculation, my own included.

It's not the hunting -- it's the secrecy.

I hope that you do understand my position, and I surely do appreciate the continued conversation. With tongue once again in cheek, I even hope to eventually rise above the rank of overly emotional woman in your view on the subject...

peace to you, good man.
Moonbat Mel

10:45 PM  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

Police report even though inaccuarate shows that chest and neck were hit pretty hard- with what looks like two rounds ( that would be the over and under effect I take it).Looking at Photo and magnifying it I can count atleast ATLEAST THIRTY FIVE PELLETS, this does not count the ones lodged internally and the ones that entered his neck and chest and were not visible on his photograph. I am not going to sit and argue the Forensics of it- it is serious shit when an old man gets shot in the face,neck and chest. He is lucky to be alive.
( Between the embedded ones that we know of in his heart and liver and larynx, and the lead issue, and the heart attack issue- he is VERY lucky to be alive).

It is one thing for kids to have a boo-boo out on their first hunting expedition and maybe someone getting shot in the rump with a couple of pellets, it is another for grown men and Cheney purports himself as a "experienced" hunter, to shoot an old man at such close range. ( less than 60 feet with organ pentration is not very professional, and is close range).

Am I serious? Of course I am serious- I am old nurse- I KNOW that gunshot wounds can indeed kill- I have taken care of the results....If you want reassurance that your arguments swayed me? No go there Wadena- been around too long and seen too many bloody results....Cheney and Whitty were very , very lucky. And to be honest- Whitty is not out of the Woods all.

10:49 PM  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

I also think that the thing that bothered me the most, and not because I am a woman of "emotion", but because I am a Woman of Integrity- that the Lies and Secrecy were not necessary- all that was needed was Apologies and the Truth....The VEEP made it worse for himself and the old guy...I have no sympathies for Liars and Criminals....especially ones in Power that misuse and abuse the laws...sorry- looks like we will not be in agreement on this issue- but that is okay. Dissent is stilll ( as of today) allowed in America.

11:18 PM  
Blogger That Damned Jezebel said...

Dissent is still allowed enigma? I thought you considered dissent to be something we should squash?
Interesting to hear you say that.

Further, I am not a ballistics expert either of course but I do know that when these things happen EVERYBODY turns into an expert. Remember how many experts in forensics during the OJ trial? Laci? YOu know what people CHOOSE to tell you. Thats all. We can talk about information and publics right to know, but thats a different matter.

I think Meldonna should get some slack here though, she is just expressing herself. Further i don;t think we can conclude that Wadena is not a liberal kitty just because the cat talks facts. What good is a label if a person (or cat) can't speak about facts, versus useless hysterics that serve no purpose? I think the cat was just trying to be OBJECTIVE.

We all have the right to our opinions, and should back them up. No reason to assassinate character on either side. perhaps we could say we thought YOU were a peaceloving liberal enigma.

7:04 AM  
Blogger Wadena said...

Yes, I hope nobody got too upset with what I've written.....and as I said, I do love Liberals but I also hate this twisting of facts to make a non-existent case of wrongdoing.

The good news is that some interesting and unintentionally funny tests have been done.....check my blog for the links.

E4E I'm interested in where the information about the pellet lodged in the liver came from.....I haven't seen verification of that.

I understand your concerns, E4E, but as a hunter, I know that these pellets must (and routinely do) penetrate four inches and more in game birds even at 40 yards to kill 30 yard penetration would be considerable in human flesh.

And real-world tests show that penetration in humans and animals is HIGHLY variable.....there are tougher and weaker points of impact.....not always predictably so, either.

Thus they could find weak or open spots in clothing and weak areas in human tissue to penetrate to heart or liver.

Kodiak bear have been killed with .22 caliber bullets.....which is supposedly impossible, yet it has happened.

Since this shot seemed to come from Whittington's right quadrant and catch him with the crescent-shaped edge of the round pattern, a pellet could have slipped between two ribs and gotten in behind the sternum from the side.

It wouldn't have to penetrate all the way to the heart, but could have moved closer following natural pathways and migrating due to muscle movement.

Or, it could have simply followed a vein from the throat to the heart.....doctors have not made that clear and probably will not.

All in all, one must conclude that the shot came from 20 to 30 yards away and 35 yards is not out of the question at all.

As far as gun safety, I repeat, BOTH men made mistakes and Whittington made the FIRST mistake of not informing the party that he had returned after an absence.

Sans that mistake, we probably would not be having this fun discussion.

8:56 AM  
Blogger Wadena said...

Oh, I forgot.

I know Cheney is a liar, but I can't recall a single lie he told in this incident.

Help me.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Wadena said...

Here's something interesting. I found that the doctors said that the pellet in Whittington's liver was larger than the rest.

Puzzling? No.

Lead shot can and do sometimes clump and even adhere together in the manufacturing process.....thus that clump would have significantly greater penetrating power.

10:24 AM  
Blogger meldonna said...

Thanks, fosco -- your free-speech support is greatly appreciated, and you also make a damn good point. None of us know ANYTHING except what has been reported, based on what the witnesses at the ranch said.

And we all know we can trust Unca Dick and his buddies to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Although I still think it's awful generous of wadena to allow some folks to do so at their own convenience.

Myself, I'd rather live in a country where all people are equal under the law, whether I am sitting in Gitmo, or trying to send a private email to my friend in Japan, or out shooting up the South Texas scrub country. Laws, rules, and regulations should apply equally to everyone in all these situations, citizens, law enforcement, and public officials alike.

I apologize if any of my comments smack of character assassination; every effort has been made to treat everyone with respect, no matter how much I may disagree with what they say.

Of course, the exception is the Big Dick himself -- and I'm going to continue to gleefully skewer him and all his fat cat ilk until our country is finally free of this murderous cabal.

Omnia Extares.

6:16 PM  
Blogger Wadena said...

Yeah, me skewering him.

But not on this issue.....not unless some valid facts turn up that show him to have done something wrong.

7:35 PM  
Blogger meldonna said...

Please see a transcript of Harry's apology to Cheney for gettin' shot. He clearly states the incident hapened on Friday, instead of Saturday, as Dick said. As a lawyer, Harry is a man who's made his livin for the past forty-odd years being precise in his utterances; so you tell me. What gives?

7:38 PM  

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