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Not Everything Must Be Okay With Mr. Whittington

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Message E. T. SIMON
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Harry Whittington stood in front of the hospital where he was treated for wounds to his face, neck and chest caused by a misfiring of Dick Cheney's quail hunting gun, as well as for the MINOR heart attack he suffered as a result of one of those bird shot traveling close to his heart.

God speaks in mysterious language some friend told me long ago, and even Pope John Paul II, on his travel to Cuba in l998, wondered out loud if the misty rain befalling the island on his departure, may, in any way, be connected to Mary's sadness over his departure from the communist island.

So now, in 2006, bird shot fired by the gun of America's Vice President enters the body of a 78 year old man held by those who know him as a fair and just man, sending him to the hospital and traveling to his heart, or close to his heart, and causing him to have a MINOR heart attack.

While Mr. Whittington's presence together with his words, as he stands there in front of the hospital, seem to reassure the nation that he is okay, surely, not everything must be okay in the life of a 78 year old man who has just been shot in the face, neck, and chest while out, hunting quail with the Vice President of the United States.

He is believed to have said at one point, "I didn't know if I was headed for the morgue or the hospital," ... and just in case we have not really heard from the Mr. Whittington who uttered the above words, or in case that the Mr. Whittington who stood upon discharge from the hospital to speak a few words to the nation is offering himself up as a sacrificial lamb, and his words of wellness and spirit of forgiveness are a veil of protection towards Mr. Cheney, the Republican Party, the Bush administration and junior's own Poppy, there is that little bullet speaking out volumes all its own...a reminder that all may not be so well with Mr. Whittington.

Yes. There is that little bullet which traveled to Mr. Whittington's heart, or close to it, lodged itself there and positioned itself in Mr. Whittington's body as a perennial reminder that not all is well with Mr. Whittington, a reminder that his life, as he knew it prior to the Saturday afternoon in which he went out quail hunting with Cheney, a man who has no regards for the sanctity of life( to wit the Iraq war), or for the law, and who thinks of himself as above the law, has now had his life forever changed because of that fragment of metal which has taken up residence in his body and which is directly due to the misfiring of Dick Cheney's quail hunting gun.

If depression has not already set in Mr. Whittington's psyche, it will. It usually happens when anyone experiences a close-up look at our own powerlessness and human frailty in the face of death. "I didn't know if I was headed for the morgue or the hospital," Mr. Whittington said. Depression and its many erosive and corrosive consequences to the human psyche is likely to pay a visit to Mr. Whittington as a direct consequence to any number of the physical injuries he may have sustained, or to the emotional consequences of facing loss, the possibility of death, and emptiness.

And just like the well hidden by make-up, black, blue and yellow marks in Mr. Whittington's neck and face as he stood there in front of the hospital's entrance, so too, his reassuring words seemed to carry a make up all their own, like the sentence in which he thanked the hospital staff who attended to him by calling them, "truly compassionate servants of God."

His calling them," TRULY COMPASSIONATE SERVANTS OF GOD," resonated in my ears, and in my soul, setting off numerous alarms and raising a red flag which caused me to question, "Who, or whom, in Mr. Whittington's eyes, is, or are not, 'compassionate servants of God?'"

Because your see, there is, COMPASSIONATE, that word that Bush likes, so frequently, to identify himself with, while not one of his actions in this incident, nor during his entire presidency, has proven to be compassionate.

Compassionate, so many of us know, is only a platitude when coming out of Bush's mouth. Compassionate. In the Bush/Cheney administration, compassion, is such a non-existent virtue, or quality, except if anyone is inclined to call those conveniently crocodile tears of the Bush family a sign, or a symbol, of their compassion.

In calling those hospital workers, "truly compassionate servants of God," did Mr. Whittington, through his Cheney ordeal, come to the realization that the Bush/Cheney ticket runs on empty when it comes to "compassion?"

Then, there was the time or two, as he read his prepared statement, when Mr. Whittington almost broke down.

Tears welling inside, emotions about to break the damn of silence, all held back by a prepared statement and a, "no questions asked", press appearance.

Were those repressed tears a sign of Mr. Whittington facing his own powerlessness, his own mortality as his life came perilously close to an end? Were they tears of gratitude that in fact he did not die? Were they tears of pain?

Were they a rush of words wanting to speak out against a bunch of goons (as Mr. Cheney's hunting habits demonstrate) who have taken over the country, but were they dutifully being silenced by the loyalty of a man whose political life he has dedicated to the Republican Party?

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