Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Deceiving Truth A Sham Ambassador

Truth lives on in the midst of deception ~ Friedrich von Schiller (11/10/1759 to 5/9/1805) German poet, philosopher, historian, and playwright.

"Hehehehe", Joe Truth chuckled quietly as his Liberal buddy Dervish ran away. "Damn", Joe swore. "I should have lied when Dervish asked if this was an arranged meeting with William Hartenbaum". Joe sighed as he watched Dervish exit the restaurant, rudely departing before William arrived. Joe checked his watch, noting that it was actually a few minutes past the time he had instructed William to make his surprise entrance.

"William will be disappointed that our little joke has been spoiled", Joe lamented, suddenly feeling quite sleepy. "Must be due to all the alcohol I've consumed", Joe reasoned, pushing his plate aside, placing his folded arms there, then resting his head on his arms. "I think I'll rest my eyes for awhile", Joe decided.

Sound asleep, Joe dreamed his practical joke went off without a hitch. Instead of running away, Dervish stayed and met with William Hartenbaum. "I admit that I was wrong regarding the issue over which I banned you from my blog", William said, possibly lying. "In any case, we shouldn't allow our online disagreements to preclude us from being friends, if not at least friendly in real life", William passionately argued.

"You said I was the most intellectually dishonest person you've ever had to deal with", an angry Dervish protested. "If that statement is what you're saying you were wrong about, and you agree to publish a public retraction and apology on your blog - then I might be willing to let bygones be bygones".

"OK, now we're getting somewhere", an ecstatic Joe Truth remarked. "I knew that, as Ambassador of Blogistan, I could negotiate a d├ętente between you two. Now I only need to convince Dervish that William is actually a closet liberal". "That isn't going to happen", Dervish stated firmly, "as it would involve me denying reality, and that isn't in the cards tonight gentlemen". Joe Truth looked confused. "This I simply do not understand. How can you possibly say William isn't a Lefty in regards to most issues?"

"That is what *I* simply do not understand", Dervish countered. "You read his blog. I've seen your comments. In his two most recent posts he argued against global climate change and in favor of nuclear energy. I admit there are some on the Left that think nuclear power is an answer when it comes to reducing carbon emissions, but, for the most part, these are NOT Liberal positions. Most Liberals acknowledge there is a scientific consensus on global warming. And most Liberals, especially given the ongoing Fukushima disaster, acknowledge that nuclear power is insanely dangerous and not worth the risk - even if it's carbon emissions were zero, which they are NOT, contrary to what William claims".

"He really said that?", an astonished Joe Truth exclaimed. William Hartenbaum nodded his head. "I did indeed. And I quoted the scientists and facts to back up my positions. I am a strong skeptic when it comes to global climate change. I also believe that nuclear power is quite safe". Joe stared at his friend in disbelief.

"This, I did not expect. If that is the case I have no choice but to say that, William, you're a nasty, deluded denier of facts and data that don't jive with your flawed conservative views. Quite frankly I think you hate real America while deluding yourself with propaganda from the right wing outlets you are addicted to".

"Seriously? That is an extreme about face" William replied, his feelings obviously hurt. "Yes", Joe Truth confirmed. "Even given your views on marriage equality and allowing the bush tax cuts to expire, I think climate change denial definitely disqualifies you from being a Liberal".

"That is something I never claimed to be", William declared, standing. "I think this negotiation has concluded", William said, a ting of anger in his voice. "I am neither nasty nor deluded. I am a reasonable minded moderate. And quite proud to not belong to either of the extremist camps on the Left or the Right. GOOD DAY"... with that William stormed off.

"I guess I was wrong about him", Truth said after a moment of silence. "Do you think you can forgive me", Truth asked his former friend. "Absolutely buddy", Dervish answered. "Just don't allow yourself to be fooled by Hartenbaum again". "That is something I will absolutely not do", Joe affirmed. "I don't know how I could have been so stupid. But my eyes are open now. I will never doubt your judgment again Dervish".

With that pronouncement all was forgiven, and Joe Truth and Dervish were friends once more. But what Dervish did not know was that Joe only called William names to trick Dervish into liking him again. Joe smiled - his deception had worked exactly as he had envisioned it! He imagined Dervish's shock when he went back to insisting William was a closet Liberal in the future. He wasn't sure why, but it sure was fun screwing with Dervish.

When the expensive bottle of wine was nearly gone Joe ordered some fancy flaming desserts. After consuming the chocolate treats Joe bid his friend adieu, giving him a big hug. "I'm so happy we could bury the hatchet", Joe said, almost weeping... although he was really crying tears of joy, imagining how much fun he would have knifing his supposed friend in the back.

Joe Truth woke abruptly. Looking around the nearly deserted restaurant, it gradually came back to him... Dervish had left before his scheme had reached it's conclusion. If only his dream was how things had really gone down! Just then he saw the hostess walking toward him. "I see you're awake Mr. Truth. We are about to close. Should I call you a cab?"

"No", Joe replied. "I'll be on my way. Oh, and please put a 15 percent tip for my waiter on my tab", Joe added, his stomach unexpectedly feeling a little queasy. "I think I'll visit the restroom first", Joe informed the hostess, suddenly desperate. Upon reaching the men's room Truth burst into a stall and upchucked his entire meal into the toilet bowl. "Geez", a disgusted Truth grumbled. "I wonder what the heck caused that?"

SWTD #130, PIF #15.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Yep, That's Right Folks; Global Warming Denier Quotes Scientist Using Flawed Data; Well, I'll Be Damned, Me-Buck

Climate change denial is a set of organized attempts to downplay, deny or dismiss the scientific consensus on the extent of global warming, its significance, and its connection to human behavior, especially for commercial or ideological reasons. ...Climate change denial has been associated with the energy lobby, industry advocates and free market think tanks, often in the United States. Some commentators describe climate change denial as a particular form of denialism ~ Excerpt from the Wikipedia page, "Climate change denial". (Denialism is choosing to deny reality as a way to avoid an uncomfortable truth.)

Global climate change is regarded by most people as accepted science. According to a 12/11/2012 Huffington post article, "a recent analysis of papers appearing in peer-reviewed science journals shows 99.83 percent of the authors agreed that human-produced carbon dioxide emissions are a significant cause of global warming".

Could all of these scientists be wrong? YES! They are either wrong or, worse yet, flat out fabricating their "evidence". If you're with blogger Willis Hart on this, you may be asking, "they thought that they could get away with this?" NO! Mr. Hart is calling out the loathsome liars.

Or is he? In a post titled, "More Observations on Global Warming", Willis suggests any temperature change could be due to "solar activity" or something called the "Pacific Decadal Oscillation".

In his commentary Willis quotes Roy Spencer, an individual who is a principal research scientist for the University of Alabama at Huntsville. According to SourceWatch (an online wiki operated by the Center for Media and Democracy, an American progressive organization)...

There are several flaws in [Spencer's] methods - inconsistent initial conditions [and] failure to use the appropriate data... All of these flaws pushed his model to produce a lower climate sensitivity estimate. When the flaws are corrected, the model estimates climate sensitivities of at least 3°C, which is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) central estimate.

Hmm, so I guess that, when the errors in this guy's findings are corrected, his research actually CONFIRMS the IPCC's findings of YES, GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE IS HAPPENING.

Another scientist Willis cites is Dr. Richard S. Lindzen, a Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Regarding this individual SourceWatch points out that...

[1] Lindzen charged "oil and coal interests $2,500 a day for his consulting services. [2] His 1991 trip to testify before a Senate committee was paid for by Western Fuels. [3] A speech he wrote, titled "Global Warming: the Origin and Nature of Alleged Scientific Consensus" was underwritten by OPEC.

Sounds like a lot of conflict of interest to me. Further casting doubt on Lizden's impartiality is his claims regarding "how weakly lung cancer is linked to cigarette smoking", and the fact that "he had been a witness for tobacco companies decades earlier". Really? Yeah, I don't know about you, but that totally blows this guy's credibility with me.

Nice try, Mr. Hart - with all the charts and graphs on your blog you might actually convince some that the consensus isn't overwhelming. But IT IS! I think I'll stick with the findings of the majority of scientists, scientific societies, and science academies and not the outliers you've hand picked.

A statement on Global Climate Change from the Union of Concerned Scientists...

Why has it been so difficult to achieve meaningful solutions? Media pundits, partisan think tanks, and special interest groups funded by fossil fuel and related industries raise doubts about the truth of global warming. These deniers downplay and distort the evidence of climate change, demand policies that allow industries to continue polluting, and attempt to undercut existing pollution standards. UCS fights misrepresentations of global warming, providing sound, science-based evidence to set the record straight.

And yet the Hartster believes these misrepresenting deniers who downplay and distort, referring to them as "luminaries". Luminaries? Yeah, you heard that right, me-buck. BTW, WTF does "me-buck" mean? I have no idea. All I know is that Willis uses this phrase quite often.

SWTD #129, wDel #16.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Virulently Anti-Green Conservative Blogger Advocates For Dangerous & Expensive Nuke Energy

You really need to do some non Daily Kos research, lady ~ Willis Hart responding to a comment on his blog; A BS assertion based on nothing but his hatred for someone he deems too far politically left.

Just when you think you've seen the most ridiculous Rightwing nonsense ever from a Conservative blogger who claims to be a moderate, he goes off on a tear that has one shaking one's head in disbelief. As evidenced by the Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and now Fukushima disasters, nuclear energy is the most dangerous energy in existence. And, although I'd wager most people do not know it, nuke energy is also the most expensive.

But, even given the literally dozens of anti-green energy posts authored by the Conservative blogger Willis Hart (or "Will Take No Prisoners Hart"), I was still a little shocked by the extreme ignorance (and eagerness to buy the Rightwing spin on the topic) of Mr. Hart's latest post. A post where he wholeheartedly endorses nuclear energy.

In his pro-nuke post Willis claims that "nobody has died from Fukushima period". Sure, that's totally believable (not). He also claims that, "the radiation that was leaked out... was basically that of an X-ray per person", and that nuclear energy is, "the only stuff that emits ZERO carbon emissions". All three of these claims are categorically false. Now the question is whether the Hartster is lying, or did he simply cull this misinformation from the usual Libertarian websites (this "moderate" quotes Cato quite frequently).

When liberal commenter Ema Nymton challenged Willis' laughably nonsensical "information", the one who does not take prisoners attacked her with a heavily insult-laden retort (this is the MO of Willis... I should know because this is exactly what he did to me when I used to comment on his blog), alleging he, "noticed that your lazy partisan ass didn't challenge a single one of my assertions". And, to round out the ad-hominem suplex, Willis finishes with, "attaway to stay on the topic there, girlie". Misogynistic, or an attack on Emma's maturity?

I say both, although the comment primarily concerns Hart's mistaken belief that, because he incorrectly views himself as "moderate", his is the more "mature" position. But the comment is also clearly misogynistic (Wikipedia notes that "misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including... sexual objectification of women", and Willis' blog contains a multitude of posts that fall into this category).

Then, of course all the regular Willis Hart Echo Chamber commenters pile on... Rusty Shackelford says, "Nymton's hot air could rotate 6 or 7 windmills". Willis agrees, snarkily stating "yeah, with Ema assisting, we could could probably get that power density up to 2 watts per square meter".

And finally insane in the membrane blogger dmarks adds a doozie of a non sequitur, asserting, "Ema's comment only proved her contempt for working people" (beats me how Ema's comment accomplished this).

So, regarding Willis' three enormous fibs about nuke energy... people have died due to Fukushima, and MANY more will die as a result of the massive amounts of radioactive elements released in this ongoing disaster. While it is true that nobody has died from any kind of cancer, yet (as cancers can take many years to materialize) World Nuclear News (a PRO-industry organization) notes that, "34 early deaths", can be attributed to "the stresses of personal involvement in the evacuation, management and cleanup related to the Fukushima nuclear accident". Willis said "nobody has died from Fukushima period"... he said "period", instead of "as a result of radioactivity", which makes his statement FALSE.

In regards to the cancers that will manifest as a result of Fukushima, An Examiner article states, "nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen [predicts] the disaster will lead to at least forty million cancer deaths". (Wikipedia's bio on Gundersen says "Gundersen is chief engineer of Fairewinds Associates, an energy consulting company. He previously worked for Nuclear Energy Services in Danbury, a consulting firm where he was a senior vice president. Gundersen holds a master's degree in nuclear engineering").

Also, the 12/2011 edition of the International Journal of Health Services claims that 14,000 deaths in the United States can be linked to Fukushima. The peer-reviewed study notes, "six days after the disastrous meltdowns struck four reactors at Fukushima on 3/11/2011, scientists detected the plume of toxic fallout had arrived over American shores". The studies' authors "estimate... 14,000 excess U.S. deaths in the 14 weeks after the Fukushima meltdown", and that the figure "is comparable to the 16,500 excess deaths in the 17 weeks after the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986".

Perhaps Willis is basing his assertions on claims like those issued by The World Health Organization, which said "the residents of the area were exposed to so little radiation that it probably won't be detectable [and that] a Japanese baby's cancer lifetime risk would increase by about 1%". But this information is based industry estimates regarding how much radiation was released. Regarding those estimates, Arnie Gundersen says, "I'm dead sure that's too low". He believes the actual amount of radioactivity released "could be 15 times higher". Now, would any reasonable-thinking person (a category that doesn't include Mr. Hart) be surprised to discover that the nuclear industry is UNDER estimating the fallout of Fukushima? I think not.

Scientific America (the oldest continuously published monthly magazine in the United States) reveals that Willis' claim that, "the radiation that was leaked out was basically that of an X-ray per person" is complete bullpucky. In reality the "Fukushima nuclear plant released far more radiation than [the Japanese] government said". And the radiation exposure is ongoing, as the main culprit, caesium-137, has a half-life of 30 years. And, while the Japanese government says it will be "able to strip out 80 to 95% of the caesium from contaminated soil and other materials", the incident spewed a lot of the radioactive isotope into the air and ocean... and that stuff is out there (nothing can be done to contain or recover and dispose of it).

Finally, regarding Willis' lie that nuclear is, "the only stuff that emits ZERO carbon emissions", Nature Reports says, "While... operating nuclear power plant has near-zero carbon emissions (the only outputs are heat and radioactive waste), ...Nuclear plants have to be constructed, uranium has to be mined, processed and transported, waste has to be stored, and eventually the plant has to be decommissioned. All these actions produce carbon emissions".

And there is the fact that the free market (a fictitious entity near-and-dear to the Conservative heart) has rejected nuclear power. This is why a nuke plant cannot be built without enormous government subsidies, including insurance subsidies. While the Price–Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (a law that "governs liability-related issues for all non-military nuclear facilities constructed in the United States before 2026) is supposedly "industry funded", it actually only covers the "first approximately $12.6 billion".

Should a major disaster occur, the US taxpayer is on the hook for anything above that. This is why private insurance companies refuse to have anything to do with nuke energy, and why it can't exist in a so-called free market system. Reason enough Conservatives like Willis Hart should be opposed (if they aren't hypocrites).

None of my research came from the "Daily Kos", by the way. I did, however, take a look at an article titled Ten Urgent Reasons to Reject Nuclear Power Now from Truthout (Truthout is a progressive organization I'd guess Willis loathes almost as much as the Daily Kos). I did not link to the Truthout article in the body of my post, however... but I do recommend any reader of this post take a look at it.

The Truthout article details why nuke energy is a REALLY bad idea, it's high power density (a point Mr. Hart hammers on in most of his anti-green posts) not withstanding. Although Willis isn't counting the energy consumed constructing, mining, etc... all the things that contribute to nuke's carbon footprint also reduce it's power density. And then there are the downsides, which, aside from how insanely dangerous nuke power is, include the issue of it's waste lasting thousands of years. In short, nuclear energy simply is not worth the risk.

SWTD #128, wDel #15. See also OST #12.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Consequences of Bad Ambassadoring

Everybody, sooner or later, sits down to a banquet of consequences ~ Robert Louis Stevenson (11/13/1850 to 12/3/1894) a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer. His most famous works are Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

As I dashed though the front door of The Quarry, I fumbled for my keys, wanting to unlock my car and get on the road as quickly as possible. I had just left a dinner meeting with a colleague who was convinced he could broker a peace between me and a bitter enemy, a guy Joe Truth (the colleague) insisted was a closet liberal.

Joe told me he wanted to apologize for calling me frigging nuts, but it was just a ruse to get me to meet with William Hartenbaum, a d-bag I wanted to avoid at all costs. Which is why I ran out of there as soon as Truth revealed his deception but before Hartenbaum showed his ugly mug.

Making it to the parking lot, I saw my vehicle and extended my arm, pointing the controller at it to unlock the doors. I had almost made it to my car, which was quite a distance due to the Quarry being packed, when someone popped up from behind my Ford Focus. What the hell is going on, I thought? Suddenly a muscular arm wrapped around my neck, and before I knew it I was in a secure chokehold.

"Recognize my voice, a**hole?" the man standing behind my car shouted. It was Dennis Marks, a dirtbag I had filed a restraining order against due to him calling my home hundreds of times a day to swear at me and threaten my life - because he harbored a grudge after I left some disagreeable comments on his blog (comments he lied about on the blog of his buddy William, insisting I was the one who swore).

"Hold still or I'll snap your neck", the person who had me in the chokehold barked. I recognized his voice as belonging to Tony Hawkins, an individual I'd had a previous bad encounter with.

I heard a car door open nearby and a few seconds later William Hartenbaum and I were face to face. "Glad you decided to meet with Joe Truth", Hartenbaum sneered. "Yes, I convinced that dumbass to trick you into showing up so we could ambush you". After addressing me, William turned to Dennis Marks and asked, "Why is he struggling so much, didn't you inject his steak with the syringe I gave you? He should be unconscious by now".

"Yes, I injected it, AFTER giving it a good rubdown with my dick", Dennis replied. "I hope you enjoyed my special sauce", Marks laughed, his comment directed at me. "And I was careful so none of the other chefs or boss Leeds saw", Marks added, his comment now directed at Hartenbaum. "By the way, I still don't understand why your buddy Slade isn't a party to our little practical joke".

"I explained that to you already", William shot back. "No way I was involving the The Quarry's owner in our hijinks. He'd have nixed assaulting a customer, even if that customer is a worthless little bastard like Dervish. Besides, Slade isn't nearly as moderate as we are. I suspect he may be kicked out of the Higher-Ordered Person's Society any day".

Despite Marks' and Hartenbaum's conversation about drugging me, I didn't feel drowsy at all. However, deciding some subterfuge might work in my favor given the circumstances, I went limp and pretended to fall asleep. "I think the sedatives just kicked in", Tony Hawkins observed. "OK. let's get him into his trunk", William directed. "Where are his keys?"

It was then that Hawkins released me from the choke hold, although he still had one arm wrapped around my waist. Sensing my opportunity had arrived, I removed the taser from the inside breast pocket of my suit jacket, jammed the contact points down on Hawkins' arm, and pressed the button. Hawkins immediately fell to the ground, his body twitching as 4.5 million volts coursed though his body. I retrieved my keys from where I had dropped them whilst attempting to free myself from Hawkins' grasp, pushed the button to relock my car, then turned and sprinted back to the restaurant.

"Get him!" a surprised Hartenbaum yelled. I'd like to have stuck around and tased the rest of my assaulters but decided not to take any chances. It had been months since the post-traumatic vertigo I suffered from as a result of a pistol-whipping administered by Tony Hawkins had disappeared, but I did not want to risk another beatdown. Two-on-one were not favorable odds. Plus I didn't know if Hartenbaum or Marks had any weapons on them.

Back inside the Quarry, I returned to the table where I had just dined with Joe Truth. Sitting down I noticed Joe was resting his head on top of his folded arms, fast asleep. Did our waiter mix up the plates and give Joe the steak intended for me? I shook him violently, but still he slumbered. Fantastic, I thought, the urge to barf that had come over me as soon as Marks described what he had done to my steak passed. Seeing as it was Truth who was unconscious, it must mean he (and not I) ate the meat Marks had given such special attention to. I guess there are consequences for bad ambassadoring.

Using my cell phone I called my assistant Janeane Garner and asked if she could pick me up. I didn't want to return to the parking lot if my adversaries were there waiting for me. Also, I didn't bother calling the police, as our city didn't have any - not since the Emergency Financial Manager replaced them with a private security firm (a firm Tony Hawkins worked for).

After hearing of my predicament, Janeane agreed to come get me right away. She drove up to the back entrance and opened her car door. Seeing Janeane, I exited with a crowd of people leaving and returning to their cars in the rear parking lot. Sliding in the backseat I found another passenger there. It was Rusty Farber, the head of security at the Progressive Ideology Foundation.

"Don't worry, Mr. Dervish. I'm here to protect you", Rusty assured me. "Let's drive around to the front and check on your car". Janeane, who was driving, followed Rusty's directions and circled the establishment. I was relieved to see my car undamaged. I had worried Hartenbaum and Marks may have vandalized it. They probably did not due to their buddy Slade Leeds owning The Quarry (and not wanting his establishment to be named in an insurance claim).

Rusty drew his (stun) gun and covered me as I returned to my vehicle, then escorted me home. We didn't see Hartenbaum or Marks again that night, but I knew this wasn't the end of our feud. They were, most likely, plotting revenge. I'm sure Joe Truth, who I had left asleep at a table inside the Quarry, was fine. I did not intend on letting him know what had happened, or that Hartenbaum thought he was a dumbass though. I very much doubted he would believe me, given the fact he still thought Hartenbaum was a Lefty, even with a mountain of evidence to the contrary.

SWTD #127, PIF #14.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Said I Was Frigging Nuts, But Meant in The Good Way

Behold, their valiant ones shall cry without: the ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly ~ Quote from the Christian Bible, Isaiah 33:7.

I was sitting at my desk at the Progressive Ideology Foundation, the Liberal think tank where I am employed as a senior fellow. My work done, I was currently writing a post for my blog. Just then the intercom on my desk beeped and the voice of my assistant Janeane Garner asked, "I have a Joe Truth on the line. Do you want to take his call?"

Joe Truth? I hadn't heard from him for a while. Not since our falling out. "OK", I responded. "Put him through". I picked up my phone when the light lit up indicating there was someone on the line. "Hello" I said. "Hey, is that you Dervish?" Joe Truth asked. "Yes", I answered. "How can I help you Joe?".

"Dervish, you might be surprised to be hearing from me, since we stopped speaking after I insulted you by calling you a frigging nut". "Yeah, that was more than a year ago now", I acknowledged.

"Well, the reason I'm contacting you is because I want to apologize. I'm dreadfully sorry about saying you're nuts. Please let me take you out to dinner to make it up to you. I'll be eternally grateful if you'll grant me this opportunity to rekindle our friendship".

How odd, I thought. Joe Truth and I had never actually been friends. Not close ones, in any case. Perhaps we could be referred to as associates, since he was also a Lefty blogger. His blog had actually been quite successful, but all that went south when he closed it down - and then reopened it. Several times. He said the people he worked with didn't approve of the Liberal beliefs he expressed online. Apparently he was now some kind of high-powered businessman who worked at a very Conservative firm.

"OK", I agreed. "I'll meet you". I had some sympathy for the guy, although not a lot, since he had never explained why he had slandered me. Even worse, he had spoken about me behind my back with an a-hole from the Higher-Ordered Person's Society - a organization comprised of phony moderates that think they're better than everyone else. But, even if the apology wasn't adequate, I was up for a free meal.

"Where and when do you want to meet?" I queried. "How about tomorrow night at 8? I've made reservations at the Quarry". "No way" I replied. "The Quarry is where the Higher-Ordered Person's Society meets". "Don't worry buddy. I was briefly associated with that group, but no longer. I know you don't like them. Besides they aren't meeting there tomorrow", Joe protested. "And the Quarry is one of the finest restaurants in town. Surf and Turf. My treat", Joe added.

"I guess", I relented. "But I'll take my apology first, and you can grovel some more when we meet". "I'm really sorry", Joe pleaded. "Please meet me". So, against my better judgment I agreed to meet Joe. A free meal and some groveling from an individual who wronged me does not happen very often.

The next evening I drove my Ford Focus to the meeting with Joe Truth, arriving a few minutes early. Leaving my vehicle in the parking lot, I entered the Quarry and approached the hostess. "Can you tell me if Joe Truth is here?" I asked the woman behind the counter.

"Let me check" the woman responded, scanning her records. "Yes, I have a table for the Truth party. You must be Mr. Dervish?" I nodded and she led me to a table. "Mr. Truth is at the bar", the hostess said, explaining why Joe was absent. "I'll let him know you're here" she said, and left.

A few minutes later Truth joined me. "I pre-ordered our Surf and Turf", Joe said, pulling out a chair and sitting down. "The hostess told me our waiter should be bringing it over momentarily". "Great", I said. "I've been looking forward to this. The meal AND the groveling". "Sure", replied Joe. "But let's eat first. I also ordered an expensive bottle of wine".

"Wow! That was a great meal", an obviously sated Joe Truth sighed after polishing off his dinner. "Now for the bad news", Joe continued. "I'm not going to grovel. In fact, I'm going to retract my earlier apology. Now, before you storm off, let me explain. It's the least you could do, considering the money I just spent feeding you".

I glared at Joe as he continued speaking. "No apology because I still think you're totally nuts, although I mean that in a good way. The real reason I wanted to meet was to broker a peace between you and William Hartenbaum". "F*ck that", I growled angrily. "I don't want to have anything to do with that d-bag". (Hartenbaum is the previously mentioned a-hole from the Higher-Ordered Person's Society).

"Now, wait a minute", Joe protested. "As you probably know, I recently appointed myself Ambassador of Blogistan. I need to broker this peace to bolster my bona fides. Also, William isn't a d-bag, nor is he a phony moderate. I believe he is actually a closet Liberal".

"You're the one who is nuts", I exclaimed. "This doofus you're oddly enamored of is in no way a Liberal. He's a conservative Democrat at best. Does a closet liberal rail against the minimum wage, complain about progressives saying the rich should pay their fair share, and write literally DOZENS of blog posts about how bad green energy is and how climate change isn't happening?"

"Right, a closet liberal", Joe Truth said with a straight face. "Bet you didn't know he's also in favor of marriage equality and allowing the bush tax cuts to expire?". "No, I knew about those two things", I replied, giving up trying to reason with Truth. "Thanks for the grub", I concluded, "but I've got to be going. By the way, Hartenbaum isn't here, is he?".

"As a matter of fact..." Truth began to admit, but I quickly jumped from my seat and ran toward the exit. "See you on the internet but don't call me again", I added in parting. If Hartenbaum was here I wanted to not be here as soon as possible. Hopefully I could make it out the door without encountering him.

SWTD #126, PIF #13.