The King is always right

Republican congressman, Greg Gianforte, assaults a report for asking a question about healthcare. 
Link to CNN report.

The sun rose early, approximately at dawn. In fact I would be tempted to say precisely at dawn, because that is what our foremost Natural Philosophers would have us believe, but they are very much out of favor with King Grump (since daring to inform him that gravity was not actually an Eastern plot to hold our merchants down) and so, it follows, is anything they would have us believe.

And so, no matter how suspiciously close to dawn the sun persists in rising, that should not be construed as anything other than a happy accident. Any purported connection is fake news.

I had finished my morning rounds of the Orange Palace in remarkably quick time (largely because the King was still away on his foreign travels and so there was nobody much around to mess up the place) and had made my way to the town square. There I was met by a remarkably large and unruly crowd for this time of day.

Mayor Pianoforte and a couple of flunkies were dunking a crippled old man in the fountain at the base of the statue of Our Lady the Slightly Virtuous.

“What’s going on?” I asked Prince Rebus, the Palace’s Majordomo. “Shouldn’t you be putting a stop to this lawlessness?”

The Prince gave me a pitying look. “They’re only protecting their right to free speech.” In response to my blank gaze, he continued, “He had the temerity to ask the Mayor when he was getting his wooden leg.”

“Tha’s right,” the man spluttered. “War veterans are supposed to get looked after. Replacement limbs and suchlike. Me old leg got eaten by woodworm. I’m due a replacement.”

“Poppycock! Take that, you precious snowflake! And stop asking awkward questions!” The man disappeared under the water again.

A few conclusions fluttered into place, but these were highly uncertain and confusing times. I felt the need to clarify. I took the Prince by the arm and discreetly led him away from the jeering crowds. “Just to be sure, I always heard ...”

The Prince gave me a stern look.

“... entirely unfounded and most likely untrue rumors that war veterans did have their medical needs cared for by the State.”

I wasn’t sure whether I preferred the pitying or the stern look. The Prince sighed. “That was, indeed, an old and outmoded custom of the Predecessor’s.”


“But those wastrels need to learn self respect and to stand on their own two feet, or one foot as the case may be. It’s for their own good, after all it’s his own fault he got his leg cut off in the first place. Besides, we need every spare florin to send more men to the war.”

“So, an upstanding citizen dunking a ...”

“Rebel upstart purveyor of fake news,” Prince Rebus supplied helpfully.

“Yes, that, is not committing an assault, but is upholding the rule of law.”

“I can see a bright future for you at the Palace.” Prince Rebus grinned.

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