At a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday in response to an assertion by the *president that special counsel Robert Mueller’s entire Russia report was protected by executive privilege, members of Congress took the opportunity to vote on whether to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for not providing the complete and unredacted Mueller report.
Many congresspeople spoke, but the most powerful commentary was delivered by Congressman Jamie Raskin, representing the 8th District of Maryland. The full transcript of his powerful remarks are below. If you really care about what’s happening to this country, you must acknowledge that every word he spoke is backed up by facts, by decency, and by common sense.
“Madam Chair, I think we need to remark how far this president has lowered our country. First, they destroyed the norms and the values of society – things that we’d always taken for granted.
You don’t mock people with disabilities.
Men don’t mock women’s bodies on television.
You don’t ridicule people and give them obnoxious nicknames, at least after you graduate from the third grade.
You don’t falsely accuse other political leaders of treason.
You don’t accuse other political leaders’ parents of assassinating President Kennedy.
You don’t use disgusting, profane language to disparage other people’s countries and you don’t call neo-Nazis and Klansmen ‘very fine people.’
You don’t give aid and comfort to the dictators of the world like Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin by flattering them and being their sycophants.
But then you destroyed the norms and the values of your office.
You called the press the enemy of the people.
You called true facts fake news and you call fake news true facts.
You vilify, you demonize the hardworking employees of the Department of Justice and the FBI.
You accuse them of being a part of a fantasy deep-state conspiracy just for doing their jobs.
You falsely claim millions of people voted illegally while you deny and dismiss the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller that there was a sweeping and systematic campaign to disrupt our elections in 2016.
You refused to divest yourself of your business interests or to put them in a blind trust as other presidents have done.
You traveled to your own business properties and the hotels on government expense.
You double initiation fees to Mar-a-Lago.
You turn the government of the United States into a money-making operation for your family, for your business, and for yourself.
And then you violate and undermine the laws of the United States.
You sabotage the affordable care act to try to deny millions of people access to their healthcare.
You separate children from their parents at the border. You pull out of the Paris climate agreement, making our country an international environmental pariah and outlaw state.
You lie about what science has shown about climate change.
You call it a Chinese hoax.
You collect millions of dollars from foreign princes, and kings, and governments in violation of Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8 of the Constitution.
And now the president, aided and abetted by the attorney general, tears at the very fabric of our Constitution. He orders that a curtain be pulled down over the executive branch. He says there will be no cooperation with the lawful demands of Congress for information. Congress shouldn’t be looking any more. The president-king declares, this is all. It’s done. No tax returns, no Mueller report, no witnesses, not Don McGahn, not John Gore. The president declares himself above and beyond the law. James Madison said, “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance and those who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power that knowledge gives. The people through the Constitution gave us that power. We must exercise it. If you act with contempt for the people in Congress, we will find you in contempt of the people and of Congress. And I support the resolution.”
Any subset of the above allegations would constitute impeachable behavior, simply in terms of incompetence, malfeasance, and outright inhumanity. There is a lot of debate right now in progressive circles as to whether such an effort is even worth the time and money, particularly in view of the unlikelihood of conviction in the Senate.
Personally, I wish the House would vote to impeach, if only to show The Thermonuclear Bowel Evacuation Currently Disgracing the Oval Office that actions have consequences. Let it be remembered that Bill Clinton was impeached by the House in December 1998 on two charges, one of perjury and one of obstruction of justice; while he was acquitted, the charges stemmed from a single charge of sexual harassment by Paula Jones. The laundry-list of horrors perpetrated by the current occupant of the White House makes that transgression, while serious, look like a peccadillo.
But even if the House takes a path of political expediency and moves on to other pressing business of our nation, it is the obligation of every human and decent citizen of our country to sweep this horror from the political stage in 2020 and relegate him to the status of a terrible mistake of history.
The Old Wolf has spoken.
*Comments are disabled for this post. If you have other opinions, feel free to write about them on your own blog.
Ran across this little game on Facebook; since it didn’t involve a phishing quiz or the inadvertent revelation of any personally-identifying information, I thought I’d play along. The results were delightful.
I removed real names for privacy reasons.
Rehpotsirhc the drowsy, hoarder of soba and Care Bears. Dlanor the cold. Hoarder of peanut butter cookies and sandals. Nna the curious, hoarder of raisins and cordless vacuum cleaners Rehtaeh the Anxious, Hoarder of lime tortilla chips and afghan blankets! Ael the Uncomfortable, hoarder of potato chips and coffee mugs. Arual the tired. Hoarder of apple pie and pillows. Licec the Wise, hoarder of popcorn and pruning shears Drahcir the Morose, hoarder of bananas and air-conditioning units. EnnaInot the mildly amused, hoarder of meal replacement shakes and trees. Nirtak, the quiet, hoarder of iced tea and Real Simple Magazine! Rotcèh the Cool, Hoarder of Chinese Noodles with Pico de Gallo and Kleenex! Norahs the grumpy, hoarder of sugar-free chocolate and books (vu den?) Ardnassac the eternal, horder of egg yolks and pink sticky notes. Sirraf the bored, hoarder of pies and controllers. Leahcim the Curious, hoarder of tortellini and pinboards Evets the Content, hoarder of apples and gift cards. Anasus the happy, hoarder of cake and shoes. Divad the Amused, hoarder of vanilla sheet cake and essence oils. Arual the cold, hoarder of protein bars and cat grass Samoht the pissed-off, Hoarder of turkey sandwiches and ring binders. Anil the anxious, hoarder of orange and Pomeranian. NnaEd the tired. Hoarder of leftover curry and random strangers. Aitit the Hungry, hoarder of bananas and bookshelves. Lisses the relaxed, Hoarder of apricots and books 😀 Trebled the Grateful, Hoarder of Boiled eggs and White Boxers. Ainos the sleepy, hoarder of buttered baguette and tweens. Nosilla the Purposeful, Hoarder of Crumpets and Old Diaries. Aneres the anxious, hoarder of apple pecan French toast and snoring husbands. Samot the Hopeful, Hoarder of Camembert and… Camembert. Ecafinob the Amused, Hoarder of Peanut Butter Toast and Pillows. Yllib the Half-sozzled, Hoarder of Nuts and Small Clockwork Devices. Hgalahs the Woozy, Hoarder of Baked Potatoes and Dictionaries. Ael the Achy, Hoarder of E-liquid. Lorac the Hungry, Hoarder of Grapes and Headphones
I have often posted about snake oil vendors on the internet and the operation of scummy affiliate marketers that flood our inboxes and search results with come-ons for worthless products that hook vulnerable people into giving up credit card numbers and signing up for endless refills of overpriced trash.
After some brilliant internet sleuthing, GoDaddy just killed 15,000 spammy domains that hawk these products. The article is worth the read if you’re interested in protecting your loved ones from bogus marketing and scams.
It certainly won’t be the end of the problem, but it’s a good thing and I give them props for the effort.
Even if torpedoing 15,000 domains won’t put much of a dent in one of the most pervasive scourges of the web—as Miller-Osborn fully acknowledges—it at least shines a light on the problem. You can’t clear all the rats out of the sewer, but you can at least remind them that you’re there.
This is something that I have struggled with since the dawn of the internet, and long before.
I remember my sense of dismay when I read a letter in the newspaper (remember those?) to an advice column, from a reader who basically said “my husband’s kind of a slob but he’s a good man and I love him.” Shortly after that, the columnist posted a response from some uppity SJW who had to write back to the effect that “My husband cleans up after himself, and I’m so much better than you, you worthless doormat.” I was saddened that the columnist felt a need to diminish an honest sentiment for the sake of readership.
Nowadays the outrage over anything and everything flows like the Mississippi River, wide, full, and neverending. Anytime something begins showing up on the Internet as a meme or a recurring joke, you know there’s some truth behind it.
In 1960, A.J. Liebling wrote, “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.” In our day, the Internet provides a pulpit and a bullhorn to every genius, idiot, savior, preacher, or troll who has access to a terminal. And the cacophony can be overwhelming.
I learned from reading the linked article that Wil Wheaton (aka Wesley Crusher) just walked away from a Twitter account with 4,000,000 followers because so many people were not following what has come to be known as Wheaton’s law: “Don’t be a dick.” If a celebrity who has dedicated his life to making the world a better place has to step back from the fury, you know it’s bad out there.
And the thing is, it’s not just opinions. The Greeks have a saying: “Η γλώσσα κόκαλα δεν έχει και κόκαλα τσακίζει” (I glossa kokala then exi kai kokala tsakizi). It means, “The tongue has no bones, but it breaks bones.” This kind of madness hurts. Actress Kelly Marie Tran who played Rose Tico in “The Last Jedi” had to leave Instragram because of months of harassment from drooling, racist cretins. And that’s just a crying shame.
People need to just clean up their acts and begin cultivating a sense of social decency rather than unbridled rage, rudeness, meanness, and bullying. As a species we will never be able to crawl out of the mud and shoot for the stars unless it happens.
Having recently re-watched the first Holmes movie with Robert Downey, Jr. and having devoured “Sherlock” with Benedict Cumberbatch some time before, I put out a poll to my Facebook circle of friends: Which Holmes did you like best?
Despite being only 4 days in, Mr. Cumberbatch leads by an overwhelming margin of 24 to 4… but the comments at the poll indicated that there were others who might have fared even better. So I went digging and found as many Sherlocks as I could see (and I may have missed a few in spite of it all, although I suspect these are perhaps the best known); I was astonished to see how many superb actors undertook the iconic rôle, but given the excellence of their craft it was understandable.
I present them here for your gratuitous viewing pleasure.
Who do you think did the best Holmes? Do your homework. There will be a quiz (actually, it’s the poll at the end.)
Viggo Larsen Sherlock Holmes i Livsfare
Alwin Neuß Sherlock Holmes
Henry Arthur Saintsbury The Valley of Fear
Eille Norwood The Yellow Face
John Barrymore Sherlock Holmes
Clive Brook The Return of Sherlock Holmes
Arthur Wontner Sherlock Holmes Fatal Hour
Raymond Massey The Speckled Band
Reginald Owen A Study in Scarlet
Bruno Güttner The Hound of the Baskervilles
Louis Hector The Three Garridebs
Basil Rathbone The Hound of the Baskervilles 1939 Probably the most definitive Holmes of my parents’ generation
Alan Napier The Speckled Band
Alan Wheatley Sherlock Holmes
Ronald Howard Sherlock Holmes
Peter Cushing The Hound of the Baskervilles
Christopher Lee Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace
Douglas Wilmer Detective
John Neville A Study in Terror
Robert Stephens The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
Radovan Lukavský Touha Sherlocka Holmese
Stewart Granger The Hound of the Baskervilles
John Cleese Comedy Playhouse; Elementary, My Dear Watson:
The Strange Case of the Dead Solicitors
Leonard Nimoy The Interior Motive – Stage Play 1975
Roger Moore Sherlock Holmes in New York
Nicol Williamson The Seven Percent Solution
Christopher Plummer The Sunday Drama
Vasiliy Livanov Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: The Acquaintance
Tom Baker The Hound of the Baskervilles Series
Guy Henry Young Sherlock: The Mystery of the Manor
Peter O’Toole Burbank films, Animated
Ian Richardson The Hound of the Baskervilles
Jeremy Brett The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes 1984 By far the most popular suggestion from my poll-takers.
Nicholas Rowe Young Sherlock Holmes
Brent Spiner TNG “Elementary, Dear Data”
Michael Caine Without a Clue
Michael Pennington The Return of Sherlock Holmes
Anthony Higgins Sherlock Holmes Returns
Matt Frewer The Hound of the Baskervilles 2000 A good fit for Berlinghoff Rasmussen, a time-traveling con-man in Star Trek. As Holmes? Not so much.
Joaquim de Almeida The Xango from Baker Street
James D’Arcy Sherlock
Richard Roxburgh The Hound of the Baskervilles
Rupert Everett Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk
Jonathan Pryce Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street
Robert Downey, Jr. Sherlock Holmes 2009 Perfect Holmes for the Guy Richie vehicle; Jude Law was a great Watson as well.
Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock 2010 You could not ask for a more exquisite “high-functioning sociopath.”
Ben Syder Sherlock Holmes
Jonny Lee Miller Elementary
Gary Piquer Holmes & Watson. Madrid Days
Igor Petrenko Sherlock Holmes; Russian series
Kōichi Yamadera Sherlock Holmes
Ian McKellen Mr. Holmes
Yoshimitsu Tagasuki Shisha no teikoku 2015
Will Ferrell Holmes and Watson 2018 Perhaps the most maligned Holmes outside of Matt Frewer, but this film was not intended to be taken seriously.
So now, you must choose. But choose… wisely.
The Old Wolf has spoken, and will be interested to see the results.
This started out as a Facebook thing; I participated, and – having a lot of erudite and eclectic friends – I got a lot of commentary.
Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you, for whatever reasons. This isn’t your top 15 canon or even books you’d necessarily recommend, just books that have made their mark on you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.
I gathered all the responses, edited out the duplicates, and came up with this list – which would keep me busy for quite a while if I ever found myself locked in a bookstore after the zombie apocalypse…
I have chosen to share the list for your gratuitous pleasure. Enjoy.
1984 – George Orwell A Canticle for Leibowitz – Walter M. Miller, Jr. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry A is for Alibi – Sue Grafton A Mote in God’s Eye – Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle A Separate Peace – John Knowles A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith. A Wizard of Earthsea – Ursula LeGuin A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle Alice Munro (anything) All The Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr An American Bible – Elbert Hubbard Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt Animal Dreams – Barbara Kingsolver Animorphs series – Katherine Applegate Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy Anne Of Green Gables – L. M. Montgomery Babel Tower – A. S. Byatt Babel-17 – Samuel R. Delaney Baby Island – Carol Ryrie Brink Barbara Pym (anything) Becoming – Michelle Obama Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me – by Richard Fariña Beloved – Toni Morrison Beyond the Beautiful Forevers – Katherine Boo Black Beauty – Anna Sewell Black Boy – Richard Wright Black Like Me – John Howard Griffin Bonds that make us Free – C. Terry Warner Born A Crime – Trevor Noah Brave New World – Aldous Huxley Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger Childhood’s End – Arthur C. Clarke Come to Grief – Dick Francis Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky Cry the Beloved County – Alan Paton Dans l’or du temps – Claudie Gallay Death at an Early Age – Jonathan Kozol Dinner At The Homesick Restaurant – Anne Tyler Double Negative – David Carkeet Down all the Days – Christy Brown Dreamsnake – Vonda N. McIntyre Dune – Frank Herbert Educated – Tara Westover Ender series – Orson Scott Card Enemy Mine – Barry B. Longyear Everything Is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer Expecting Adam – Martha Beck Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes Finnegan’s Wake – James Joyce Foundation Trilog – Isaac Asimov Gaudy Night – Dorothy L. Sayers Girl in Translation – Jean Kwok Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid – Douglas Hofstadter Grant – Ron Chernow Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck Green Eggs And Ham – Dr. Seuss Guns, Germs and Steel – Jared Diamond Hamilton – Ron Chernow Handbook of Designs and Devices – the Dover Pictorial Archive Harry Potter Saga – J.K. Rowling Have Space Suit, Will Travel – Robert A. Heinlein Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad Horton Hatches the Egg – Dr Seuss How I Live Now – Meg Rosoff Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins I Am A Strange Loop – Douglas Hofstadter I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou In Calabria – Peter Beagle I Will Always Love You – Cecily von Ziegesar If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him! – Sheldon Kopp In the Garden of Beasts – Eric Larson Into Thin Air – Jon Krakauer It’s the Heart That Goes Last – Margaret Atwood Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë Joan Aiken (anything) John le Carré (anything) John Scalzi (anything) Kate Atkinson (anything) Kon Tiki – Thor Heyerdahl Leaders eat Last – Simon Sinek L’écume des jours – Boris Vian Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula K. Le Guin Les gens de Mogador – Élisabeth Barbier Les Miserables – Victor Hugo Life As We Knew It and The Dead and the Gone – Susan Beth Pfeffer Light in August – William Faulker Little Men – Louisa May Alcott Little Women – Louisa May Alcott Lord of the Flies – William Golding Love, Again – Doris Lessing Lucky Jim – Kingsley Amis Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl Me & Emma – Elizabeth Flock Michel Folco – Everything Middlemarch – George Eliot Mistress Masham’s Repose – T. H. White Moby Dick – Herman Melville My Antonia – Willa Cather My Brilliant Friend – Elena Ferrante My Name is Asher Lev – Chaim Potok No Country for Old Men – Cormac McCarthy O, Pioneer – Willa Cather Of Human Bondage – W. Somerset Maugham Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens On Becoming a Person – Carl Rogers On Writing – Stephen King Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson Pappan och havet – Tove Jansson Past Sins – Pen Stroke Peeps – Scott Westerfeld People of the Book – Gwendolyn Brooks PG Wodehouse (anything) Philip K. Dick (anything) Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follett Possession – A.S. Byatt Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen Puckoon – Spike Milligan Reading in the Dark – Seamus Deane Resurrection – Leo Tolstoy Screwtape Letters – C.S. Lewis Seven Days In May – Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle Silent Spring – Rachel Carson Spiritual Roots of Human Relations – Stephen R. Covey Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert A. Heinlein Strumpet City – Joseph Plunkett Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives – David Eagleman Tess of the d’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy The “Tomorrow” series – John Marsden The Alexandria Quartet – Lawrence Durrell The Anatomy of Peace – The Arbinger Institute The Art of Racing in the Rain – Garth Stein The Audacity of Hope – Barack Obama The Black Stallion – Walter Farley The Book of Mormon The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevsky The Call Of The Wild – Jack London The Canopy of Time – Brian Aldiss The Canterbury Tales – Geoffrey Chaucer The Carpet Makers – Andreas Eschbach The Chosen – Chaim Potok The Company of Wolves – Angela Carter The Compassionate Samurai – Brian Klemmer The Crystal Cave – Mary Stewart The Dark – John McGahern The Dean’s December – Saul Bellow The Devil Tree – Jerzy Kosiński The Diary of a bookseller – Shaun Bythell The Disposessed – Ursula LeGuin The Education of Little Tree – Asa Earl Carter The Ellie Chronicles – John Marsden the Emily trilogy – L. M. Montgomery The Family of Man, Museum of Modern Art Exhibition Catalogue The Fire Next Time – James Baldwin The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand The Giver – Lois Lowry The God Delusion – Richard Dawkins The Golden Apples of the Sun – Ray Bradbury The Grand Sophy – Georgette Heyer The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck The Great Divorce – C. S. Lewis The Green Hills of Earth – Robert A. Heinlein The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood The Hiding Place – Cory Ten Boom The Holy Bible The Horse’s Mouth – Joyce Cary The Human Comedy – William Saroyan The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot The Jewel in the Crown Quartet and Staying On – – Paul Scott The Last Question – Isaac Asimov The Last Unicorn – Peter Beagle The Lazarus Long series – Robert Heinlein The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula le Guin The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold The Magus – John Fowles The Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov The Mayor of Casterbridge – Thomas Hardy The Odyssey – Homer The Rape of Nanking – Iris Chang The Red Tent – Anita Diamant The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich – William L. Shirer The Road – Cormac McCarthy The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett The Secret History – Donna Tartt The Shining – Stephen King The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner The Source – James A. Michener The Sparrow – Mary Doria Russell The Spinning Heart – Donal Ryan The Sword of Shannara – Terry Brooks The Thirteen Clocks – James Thurber The Thrawn Trilogy – – Timothy Zahn The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger The Turn of the Screw – – Henry James The Twilight Saga – – Stephanie Meyer The Whiteoaks of Jalna – Mazo de la Roche The World Treasury of Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics (various) Time and Again – Jack Finney To Be a Slave – Julius Lester To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee To Say Nothing of the Dog – Connie Willis Tolkien (anything) Tomorrow When the War Began – John Marsden Tortilla Flats – John Steinbeck Touching Spirit Bear – Ben Mikaelsen U.S.A. Trilogy – John Dos Passos Ulysses – James Joyce Up the Down Staircase – Bel Kaufman Ursula LeGuin – Everything Vida – Marge Piercy Waiting for the Barbarians – JM Coetzee War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy Warmth of Other Suns -Isabel Wilkerson White Fang – by Jack London Wicked – Gregory Maguire Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys Young Jedi Knights series – Kevin J. Anderson) Zookeeper’s Wife – Diane Ackerman
The Old Wolf assumes no liability for death by starvation in libraries, dens, or bookstores.