Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland on a visit to Ukraine revealed, using a four letter word, the degree of her respect for the European Union. Former US State Department employee, the Distinguished Arthur Houghton III, exhibits a similar degree of verbal sophistication in his comments on Peter Tompa's blog. Angling to get an invitation from the Academy of Sciences of a large central European state to expound his views on "Who Owns the Past: Morality, Law and the Public Interest", he is not exactly complimentary about the person he was relying on getting that invitation:
"Peter, I am sure you've seen the gas bag's most recent screed. Maybe less a gas bag than a whoopee pillow (sic). He asked, I offered, he's run off in the other direction, not only at the mouth. Poor fellow. Decided not to take it seriously. Too bad for the whoopee pillow.While the rest of America has flatulence where one normally positions a cushion, it seems that as far as Mr Houghton is concerned, these anatomic realities do not apply. Three days on from my invitation (February 24, 2014 at 6:22 AM) it seems that it is not I who is the one "running off". Mr Houghton has not responded in any way indicating his willingness to come here onto my own territory to attempt make me "huff and puff" with his words on the morality, legality and public interest of dugup antiquity collecting. Perhaps he has thought better of his original hasty idea to confront all by himself European ideas of what is right and proper to do with dugup antiquities. I did, however, offer to invite Tompa's new pal, UK metal detectorist John Howland to accompany him to give Polish observers a fuller picture of foreign collectors, but there was silence on that proposal too.
Vignette: Mad Hatter, supplier of requisites for subtle humor to US Diplomatic service since 1956.