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May 31, 2008

Manly Things

hunting_stand.jpgEven though my kids were in Ohio I have to wonder if they sent in prompts for my script that I wrote. My "who" was Napoleon Dynamite, an oft quoted movie in my family, and my "what" was a kumquat, which we think is one of the funniest named fruits ever. My "where" was a hunting stand and our common cameo was "Brian Matuszak," director of Rubber Chicken Productions.

The first few pages flowed fast for me but I kinda ran out of steam at the end, but I drew a great cast and I think they will sell it.

So, without further ado, I present "Manly Things"...

Manly Things
Written for Chicken Hat 1
Rubber Chicken Productions
Proctor, Minnesota
May 31, 2008

Lawrence Lee

SHARON – a mother
TREVOR – her early teenage son
MANUEL – a hair stylist
BRIAN – a pizza delivery man

Air Freshener Can
Pizza Box
Headset or Earbuds
Cell Phone

[Lights up on TREVOR in a hunting stand playing with his gameboy listening to something on his headset.]

SHARON – [enters] Trevor! Any sign of moose?

TREVOR – [no response]

SHARON – [climbs up] Trevor! Any sign of moose or deer or something?

TREVOR – [no response]

SHARON – [pulls off headphones] Trevor!

TREVOR – Sheesh, mom! Don’t sneak up on me like that!

SHARON – Well, Mr. iPod, you should have your senses attuned to the world around you here in the great outdoors. What if I were a big Grizzly?

TREVOR – There aren’t any Grizzlies around here. Sheesh.

SHARON – Or a timber wolf, or a wombat. Those are ferocious creatures, wombats. Remember the wombat exhibit at the zoo when you were 12 a couple summers ago? You really were interested in those, weren’t you?

TREVOR – Wombats are native to Australia!

SHARON – [pinches TREVOR’s cheek] You’re so smart! I don’t know why you don’t get better grades.

TREVOR – No, I meant… never mind. [goes back to gameboy]

SHARON – Isn’t this nice? Here in the woods in this here stand? [sprays a can] It could use a little freshening up, but it’s so… rustic. You know?

TREVOR – [waves hand in front of face] Don’t do that!

SHARON – Well, I just don’t want it to smell like a latrine in here.

TREVOR – I’m pretty sure the point of hunting is to blend in, not to smell Lysol clean.

SHARON – But it’s pine scented, see? So we’ll blend right in.

TREVOR – [shakes head and goes back to his gameboy] I don’t even know why we’re out here. I’d rather be home.

SHARON – You’re a growing young man and hunting is a rite of passage for young men. Oprah said so. I’m just trying to help you journey into manhood. [tears up a bit] I know I’m not your father… but since he’s gone… I’m just doing my best.

TREVOR – Dad didn’t hunt. He was a tax consultant who built model ships in the basement. Why do you think he would’ve taken me hunting?

SHARON – That’s not the point. The point is a rite of passage into manhood. And I’m sure your father would have been proud to be here with you, if it weren’t for that horrible kumquat accident.

MANUEL – [enters] Hello beautiful peoples! I am back from using the little boys’ tree!

SHARON – Oh, hello Manuel! Did you get lost? You took so long.

TREVOR – [so MANUEL can’t hear] And why did you bring him?

SHARON – He’s a man and I thought you needed a male role model in your life. Someone you can talk to about your man… things.

TREVOR – Mom, he’s your hairdresser…

MANUEL – Isn’t this just da bomb? It’s like nature just threw up all over! Such texture!

SHARON – Have you seen anything to shoot?

MANUEL – I saw a little fluffy bunny that we could blow to smithereens, but I’m waiting for a big buck to show up. I want to bag me a stag!

TREVOR – [sotto voice to SHARON] This is my male role model?

MANUEL – What was that?

SHARON – [covering up] He was just complaining about the stale… rolls… at the motel…

MANUEL – I know! Wasn’t that food the pits?

TREVOR – [nodding] Yeah… just awful.

SHARON – I think I’ll just go scout around a bit. Leave you two MEN together. [smiles and sneaks off]

TREVOR – [waving “NO” to SHARON as she leaves]

MANUEL – [smiles at TREVOR]

TREVOR – [transforms his waving at SHARON into a stretch]

MANUEL – I know you don’t want me here.

TREVOR – Oh, no, Manuel, it’s great having you here. Just great.

MANUEL – No, little man, you do not have to play the games with me. Sharon is a fine woman and she wants you to be a man. But Manuel, he cannot take the place of your father. Your father who lived a proud and full life, until that fateful day and the kumquats… [overwrought with grief]

TREVOR – I’d rather not talk about that…

MANUEL – Of course not. No, of course not. But we are not here to speak of such things. We are not here to speak. We are here to act! As men would act! Boldly! We are here to hunt! For such is the nature of the man! [his cell phone rings] The hunt is… Excuse me, I have to take this. Hello, this is Manuel of Manuel’s, si. Hola, Linda sweetie. Si, I moved your appointment to Tuesday at 3:45, si. This does not work for you now? Okay, lemme check my calendar. Si, Friday morning, si, that works, sweetie. 9:30? If you don’t mind me hungover! [laughs obnoxiously and cuts it abruptly] I kid, I kid. Let’s make it 10:45. Bueno! See you then! [kissy noises] Where was I?

TREVOR – The nature of man…

MANUEL – Oh, si. [strikes dramatic pose] The nature of man! [falters] Oh, Manuel forget. Anyway, let’s be men and kill something. What do you say?

TREVOR – Uh… no.

MANUEL – No? Why this no?

TREVOR – I don’t really want to. I’m just out here because my mom reads too many parenting books. I don’t want to prove I’m a man by killing something.

MANUEL – [relieved] Thank you, sweet Mary Mother of God. I don’t really want to either, but Sharon, your mother, she’s very… persuasive…

TREVOR – Yeah, you noticed…

MANUEL – So, what is it that you want to do, Trevor?

TREVOR – [imitating Napoleon Dynamite] “Whatever I feel like I wanna do! Gosh!”

MANUEL – [blinks] What was that?

TREVOR – Napoleon Dynamite.

MANUEL – You sure it’s not turrets? Because it seemed kinda odd.

TREVOR – [breaking character] Yeah, it’s hard getting all of these prompts in in a seamless fashion sometimes.

MANUEL – [breaking character too] Yeah, you notice how there always seems to be one prompt that gets tangentially mentioned and isn’t really essential to the plot?

TREVOR – Yeah, like that odd kumquat accident that my father was in?

MANUEL – Okay, sometimes two…

SHARON – [enters] Oh, boys! Boys! I saw movement over in those bushes over there!

MANUEL – Madre de Dios! Sharon, she is right!

TREVOR – What is it, mom?

SHARON – I don’t know, but it’s something big!

BRIAN – [enters disoriented] Did someone here order a large pepperoni pizza?

TREVOR - That would be me!

SHARON – Trevor! What are you doing ordering pizza?

TREVOR – Being a real man, mom. Being a real man.

[TREVOR strikes a heroic pose. BRIAN strikes a pose handing him the pizza. SHARON beams at her boy. MANUEL strikes a dramatic, silly pose. Hold on scene for a bit and lights out.]

May 29, 2008


Mini-Jellybeans-Poster-C12134148.jpegIt's Out of the Hat time again, only now it's under new management, sorta, so it's called the Chicken Hat plays. At any rate, the rules are still the same and I have to produce a short play tonight and tomorrow night based on prompts.

My play I just finished for Friday night probably uses the prompts more literally than any play I've ever done.

Who: An Expensive Radio Consultant
What: A Hatful of Jellybeans
Where: A Dock

The different thing this time around is that each play on Friday will feature a cameo by Mayor Steve Anderson of Proctor.

Once again I return to a common theme of my plays. There's a true believer in conflict with a skeptic. I really should just call these the On the Couch Plays since I work out my own issues in them.

Written for Chicken Hat 1
Rubber Chicken Productions
Proctor, Minnesota
May 30, 2008

Lawrence Lee

Who: An Expensive Radio Consultant
What: A Hatful of Jellybeans
Where: A Dock
Cameo: Mayor Steve Anderson of Proctor

MEG – a radio engineer
HANNAH – a radio on-air personality
BUD – an expensive radio consultant

A Hat
Jellybeans – a couple bags

[Lights up on MEG and HANNAH sitting on a dock (desk?) with a hat between them. One by one they are taking turns pulling jellybeans out of the hat, naming their color, and throwing them into the lake. Every time they throw one into the lake it is followed by a PLOINK sound effect. The length between when they throw it and when the PLOINK occurs can be varied for comedic effect.]

MEG – Red. *

* [Or whatever color it actually is. Throws the jellybean off the dock. SFX – PLOINK!]

HANNAH – Purple. *

MEG – Yellow. *

HANNAH – Green. *

MEG – Green. *

HANNAH – Orange. *

[This goes on for a good long while. It’s clear this is draining on them though HANNAH tries to remain cheerful with varying degrees of success.]

MEG – Can you remind me why we are doing this? Black. *

HANNAH – It’s an exercise. Green. *

MEG – An exercise in futility. Red. *

HANNAH – No, you heard the speaker. This is to prepare us to free ourselves for less critical and more creative thinking. Purple. *

MEG – [a take] Pink. *

HANNAH – The jellybeans are a metaphor… for our attachments… and we’re ridding ourselves of them. Orange. *

MEG – Couldn’t we rid ourselves of our metaphorical attachments by eating them instead? Yellow. *

HANNAH – No, that would invalidate the exercise. We can’t detach ourselves from something we eat. Red *

MEG – Oh really? What did you have for breakfast this morning? Purple. *

HANNAH – [thinks a bit] Yogurt and toast, with lite margarine, and grapefruit juice. Orange. *

MEG – And yesterday? Pink. *

HANNAH – [thinks harder] Coffee and a bagel, no, wait, I don’t think I had breakfast yesterday. I think that was Monday. Red. *

MEG – You sound sufficiently unattached from your breakfast. Yellow. *

HANNAH – That’s not what he meant by attachment. We are practicing naming and discarding things so that we can lessen our anxiety about change because, in a climate of corporate upheaval, we need to be able to let go. [proud of herself] Green! *

MEG – How much is the station paying this guy? Black. *

HANNAH – Oh, he comes highly recommended. He did a seminar with KRKW last spring and now their drivetime show share is going through the roof. Purple. *

MEG – Right. Green. *

HANNAH – Black. *

MEG – It’s just… it’s not really naming, is it? Orange. *

HANNAH – What do you mean? Orange. *

MEG – Well, you aren’t really naming something by describing the color of it. Like your name is Hannah. It isn’t pasty beige. White. *

HANNAH – [takes some umbrage] But he told us in the session… [picks up a jellybean]

MEG – [stops her from throwing it] I know what he told us, but it’s not really the same thing, is it? I mean we might as well say “kinda round” or “about a half inch long” or “about five grams”…

HANNAH – Don’t use the metric system. It confuses me.

MEG – Look, this exercise just doesn’t make sense to me. It’s meaningless… and a perfectly good waste of jellybeans.

HANNAH – [defiantly] Red! *

MEG – [folds her arms]

HANNAH – [urges MEG to take one] Come on… What if they are watching?

MEG – [studies nails]

HANNAH – [grabs MEG’s hand and sticks it in the hat and makes her pull one out]

MEG – [shocked at HANNAH’s behavior, but doesn’t stop her]

HANNAH – [stage whisper] It’s green. [or whatever color it is] C’mon… Say it’s green.

MEG – It’s a tiny bit of sugar and high fructose corn syrup with edible dye and… [pops it in her mouth] it’s delicious.

HANNAH – [shocked] You can’t do that!

MEG – Watch me! I’m not even looking at what color it is! [takes one out and pops it in her mouth]

HANNAH – You’re ruining the exercise!

MEG – I’m so detached I don’t care! [takes one out of the hat and throws it in the air catching it in her mouth] I think that one was black because it tasted like licorice.

HANNAH – Stop it!

MEG – You want me to stop it?

HANNAH – Yes! Just do the exercise! This guy knows what he is doing! Why else would we pay him so much money?

MEG – Because… we’re idiots?

HANNAH – [glowers]

MEG – Okay. I’ll do the exercise. [picks up the hat and looks inside] Rainbow! [throws all of the jellybeans out of the hat, SFX – lots of PLOINKS] Exercise over! I feel very detached now.

HANNAH – [gaping at MEG in disbelief]

BUD – [enters and sees the empty hat] Oh, excellent! Well done! You obviously are making progress. [refills the hat with jellybeans from a bag he has with him and exits]

HANNAH – [smiles superiorly at MEG]

MEG – [defeated] Orange. *

HANNAH – Green. *

MEG – Purple. *

[and so on, lights out]

May 28, 2008

My Geeky Bio

My bio as Geek King is up now on the Geek Prom website. Here it is...

geekroyalty08.jpgLawrence Lee, the 2008 King Geek, was born and raised in Wapakoneta, Ohio, the hometown of Neil Armstrong. He started playing D&D in 1977 when players still had to use crayon to color in the crappy plastic dice. He learned BASIC on a TRS 80 and FORTRAN using a card reader. In high school he was salutatorian of his class, medaling in the state Mathletes competition and also serving as a library assistant. In college he studied physics, mathematics and philosophy, and worked as a civil engineering lab assistant. In graduate school he ran the A/V department. His current interests include HTML, blogging, board games (especially Settlers of Catan), World of Warcraft and helping his kids learn math (which he insists is fun). He works as a Presbyterian minister, and his study is decorated with a lava lamp, an original Chris Monroe painting and Star Wars paraphernalia. As Geek King he would like to decree for all time: “Han shot first.”

All this is true.


emma3.GIFI realized yesterday when I was talking with some people who regularly read my blog that I often write about the cutely obnoxious things my son Simon does and says because he's the king of one liners. I don't so often write about Emma. In the spirit of fairness let me share a few stories about my daughter.

Emma Newborn - When Emma was first born she and I were taken to a nursery and, since Charlotte had to have stitches and there were two other babies being born at the same time, we were left alone for the first hour of her life. In that hour I realized that she was already a fully formed human being with her own personality and her own perspective on things. Boy, has that turned out to be true.

Emma Startled - I remember Emma's first sneeze. It was sudden and violent and when it was over she looked startled and started crying as if saying, "I'm only two weeks old and my nose has exploded!"

Emma as Nascent Feminist - When Emma was just learning to speak she asked her mom for some water. Charlotte responded saying, "You got it, babe." Emma replied saying, "Name not 'Babe.' Name's 'Emma.'" This was her first complete sentence.

Emma as Revolutionary - When Emma was three or four she became fascinated with street lights and why green meant go and red meant stop. This seemed arbitrary to her and we had conversations in the car for months about how she could change the status quo. "Papa, I have an idea. Why don't you just start going on red and stopping on green to show people a different way?" I replied that that was called civil disobedience and while I could do that, I would have to accept the consequences, which could mean all sorts of fines and maybe even getting in an accident.

Emma the Considerate - I remember the first time we stayed in a hotel room and, after we got up, Emma started making the beds. I told her room service would do that, but she seemed to think it was wrong that anyone should make a bed for her. Right on, Emma.

Emma as Trooper - When Emma was six she was in a production of Annie. The play ran 3 weekends with around 18 performances. Her role was very demanding with lots of singing and dancing. She played Molly, the smallest orphan, and she had to have a big voice and big stage presence. Towards the end of the run she got sick and had a hard time speaking. But she didn't throw in the towel. Between scenes she would rest, drink tea and lemon, not speak to anyone, and when she went on the stage no one would have known she was sick. I'm not sure I could ever be any prouder.

Emma as Thespian - Last month Emma was in a Shakespeare workshop where the participants prepared scenes for the final showcase. One of her classmates dropped out at the last minute and the director asked if Emma would mind filling in, learning her lines and blocking in just two days! And Emma did it flawlessly.

May 22, 2008

DC Trip - Wednesday and Thursday

zoo_s.jpegWe woke up Wednesday morning to no power in our hotel which made it a fair treat to get ready, especially taking a shower in the dark. Afterwards we went down to the local Starbucks to get some breakfast before we went to the zoo. Apparently there are about 100 Starbucks in DC. It seems you can't go two blocks without seeing a new one.

bird_natzoo.jpegWe then took the Metro to the National Zoo. The weather was pleasantly warm and a bit overcast. It was a pleasant walk from the Metro Station to the zoo. We arrived around 9:30, after the grounds had opened but before most of the buildings. We went to see the Giant Pandas exhibit but only one was out. Then we went to see the bird house and the Great Flight exhibit where we could get up and personal with some of the birds.

elephantbath.jpegWe then went to the Elephant House to see one of the three elephants get a bath. Afterwards we headed out the elephant outdoor area where we met a very helpful docent who shared all sorts of pacadermal tidbits with us. Actually, one of the themes of the zoo were helpful, informative, available docents.

The other theme of the day were school children from about preschool through about grade 3, apparently, and a lot of them. Once again I took pleasure in how well behaved and polite my children are.

Overall we gave the National Zoo high marks, though Simon thought that it suffered in overall layout and organization. We did like that Orangutans had overhead cables with which they could traverse the park from their compound to a primate testing area called the "Think Tank."

carousel_es.jpegAfter the zoo we headed back to the Mall and visited the original Smithsonian building and took a ride on the old, wooden carousel out front. At the time Emma and Simon were the only riders. Simon made a b-line for the one and only dragon on the carousel... of course.

When we returned to our hotel late that afternoon there was still no electricity. It wouldn't return until 7:00 that night. We went out for sushi, which was delicious, and later that evening we saw a marching band practicing in the street next to our hotel. A good day, overall

Today we woke up and took a last trip to the Mall to pick up knick knacks and souvenirs. Then we checked out and headed down to the train station, stored our things with Amtrak, and walked the three blocks down to the United Methodist Building and the Supreme Court. Simon was tired and unimpressed. So much for democracy. Now I'm blogging from the Amtrak Station as we await our train home.

May 21, 2008

DC Trip - Tuesday

We started the day by going to the Smithsonian Institute National Air and Space Museum and, according the kids, I was in my element. Yeah, I geeked out. As soon as we walked in I started telling stories about everything we saw. I loved it. We saw a live demonstration on principles of flight and a planetarium show about black holes narrated by Liam Neeson.

Then we went over to the Natural History Museum and checked out the mammal and reptile exhibits. (Um, on the whole we recommend the Chicago Natural History Museum. No offense, Smithsonian.)

washmon.jpegThen after having lunch out on the Mall we went to the Washington Monument. It's big and pointy. We had some discussion about how George Washington would feel about this as a monument to his life. "I led a ragtag army to victory over the preeminent military force of our day and then became a struggling young nation's first president and you build a big, tall, pointy thing in my honor? Gosh... thanks."

garzarub.jpegWe saw the new World War II Memorial, which was well done, but still not as moving in my opinion as the Vietnam Memorial. We rubbed three names there for a friend back home. They died during a booby trap that injured our friend in March of 1970.

lincolnmem.jpegOf course, we had to go to the Lincoln Memorial, which is still one of my favorite sites in Washington DC. We read the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural Address. Both the kids were impressed by the simplicity and succinctness of the Gettysburg Address. I was impressed again how in the midst of war Lincoln was able to say that God favored neither side.

DC Trip - Sunday and Monday

Here are some photos of the kids and I in Washington DC. They aren't great quality because they were taken on Emma's camera phone, but they give you an idea of what we did.

We left Minnesota early Sunday morning on Amtrak out of St. Paul and traveled the better part of the next 36 hours by train. Thanks to the Proballs for putting us up overnight, making breakfast for us at 5:30 in the morning, and then driving us to the train station. That is truly above and beyond the call of duty.

During our two hour layover in Chicago we hung out with Fuzzy and Erica. The kids hadn't really ever spent any significant time with Erica so this was a good opportunity to get to know her a little more. Fuzzy and Erica were both tired from an all night shoot on a Barenaked Ladies music video they were working on. Don't they look peppy anyway?

On the train we amused ourselves by playing Nertz, Fluxx, Boggle, reading, watching a movie on my laptop, and watching the passing scenery. We really enjoyed passing through Pennsylvania and West Virginia on Monday morning. It has recently rained and the scenery was lush and green. As the leaves had just, just come out in Minnesota when we left this was a welcome change of scenery.

On Monday after we checked into the hotel we walked down to the National Mall and walked east toward the Capitol. We enjoyed the trees and walked in the gardens around the Capitol grounds. I was actually kind of amazed how close we could get to the Capitol building without seeing any guards. Of course there were cameras everywhere... and squirrels. Lots and lots of squirrels. This made Emma verrrrry happy. Too happy. It was time to get some rest.

May 20, 2008

Fashion Apocalypse

721430.jpgI had a lot of weird dreams last night, but perhaps the most entertaining was of an exodus of superheroes who fled earth for another planet to start over and then, several generations later, they found that the planet was doomed because of a microscopic fiber worn in their superhero outfits.

May 11, 2008

Speed Racer

Remember Saturday morning technicolor-and-sugar-induced moments of psychedelic hysteria which bordered on an orgiastic state of religious clarity? Speed Racer brought all that back to me.

It's clear that the Wachowski brothers grew up loving the same stuff I did. Most people won't get Speed Racer, and it's clear from the reviews that the critics don't, but I loved it. It's 1960's pop culture that has grown up, went through a period of existential angst, discovered western philosophy, eastern meditation, art, and sushi, had a few bad romances, and then woke up one day and realized that deep inside it really, really loved itself. This is a perfect film for people who want two hours of utter escapism and be transported into a world where the laws of physics are just slightly askew.

So grab some junk food, get really caffeinated, and prepare to spaz out.

May 9, 2008

Making the Man Work for You

What do you do if you are an unsigned band in Britain and want to make a music video but don't have any money for cameras and crew? Have the police state do your bidding!

The Get Out Clause produced this video by performing in front of eighty different CCTV cameras all around Manchester and then requesting the footage under the Freedom of Information Act. Brilliant!

May 8, 2008

Not that I'd ever sell it...

But it's nice to know this little project is worth something in hard currency. Coincidentally, that amount is close to what I need for the remainder of the downpayment on my new house. Could I trade my blog for a house? Hmmm... the mind boggles.

May 5, 2008

I totally agree and I'll be happy to deport you immediately

english5.jpgA Houston protester argues that proficiency in English should be a condition for citizenship. Excellent point. May I just point out something about your sign then?

May 3, 2008


chickenacronym.jpgDr. Pamela Takayoshi, Associate Professor of English at Kent State University, is claiming that IM speak is not just slang but represents a whole other language, separate from English. From the press release:

Instant messaging, or IM, is not just bad grammar or a bunch of mistakes. IM is a separate language form from formal English and has a common set of language features and standards.

While I agree that when you understand the rules of IM speak there is some standardization to it, it is still at its root IM based on English words. I think this becomes a semantical debate as to what constitutes a language. I'd accept that IM speak is a separate and unique dialect of English, but I'm not sure it qualifies as its own unique language. I'm willing to be persuaded otherwise, though.

Stick Around Through the Credits

ironman.jpgI went to see Iron Man yesterday with my buddy, Russ, and was pleasantly entertained. It was a nice rendition of one of my favorite comic book heroes. Robert Downey Jr. was a perfect Tony Stark and Gwyneth Paltrow was... sigh... so beautiful. Probably my favorite scenes in the movie were between these two actors, especially the one in which Stark needs his personal assistant, Pepper Potts, to assist him personally with a delicate, little life and death procedure.

But here's the thing you have to know. If you go to see the movie stay until the very end. There's a fun scene after the credits. I will say no more. Trust me. It's totally worth it.

May 1, 2008

Five Years of Mission Accomplished!


You know, I was a real critic of the idea of going to war. I thought it would be long and drawn out and that our mission was unclear. Were we there to remove Saddam Hussein? Were we there to find and disarm WMDs? Were we there to fight al Qaeda? Little did I know that the whole mission would come to such a swift conclusion. I mean, honestly, 3 months for military operations was really exceptionally fast.

But what was more unexpected for me was how prepared the State and Defense Departments were to engage in their very thorough and well planned postwar operations for stabilization and rebuilding. I know, I was really critical of the Bush administration back prewar and I realize how foolish I was now. Now it just seems so self-evident that if you are going to war with the world's largest military that of course you are going to have a strategic plan that makes sure that your military success can be followed up with peace and reconstruction. It just makes sense, doesn't it?

I was also a critic of us going into Iraq unilaterally without the support of the community of nations. I thought this would make us look like a bully and a pariah on the world stage. I guess I didn't understand that we were leading a coalition of countries and that the world would fall in line behind us once they realized the stability and prosperity we were bringing to Iraq.

And, I'm ashamed to say, back prewar I was concerned that our invasion of Iraq would create a breeding ground for terrorists who would be unified and emboldened by our presence there and that we would foster the very thing we were trying to defeat. Boy, was I stupid.

Also I was worried that civil society in Iraq might break down along old ethnic and religious fault lines and that we might end up trying to reconstruct a country ripped apart by civil war. I should have known that our presence would only stabilize Iraqi society and they would greet us like liberators.

Well, now in 2008, all my doubts back in the build up to war look amazingly naive and short sighted. I'm sorry I doubted you, Donald Rumsfeld, and congratulations on your decisive primary victories. I have no doubt, now, that with Bush campaigning for you and your reputation as the architect of our Iraqi victory you will have no problem securing victory in the fall, and deservedly so.