Reading up on The 48 Rules of Power, a kind of modern Book of the Courtier, in the hopes of rising in Wealth Bondage, through loyal service to my Leader and Generous Patron, she who rules us all, I have not found much I can use, here at the ragged end of an undistinguished career, but I did find this bit, under Rule 24, promising: Rather than speaking uncomfortable truth to power, position yourself as a soothsayer who reads omens and portents. Rather than you being to blame, when the augury is unwelcome, you could blame the entrails of a bird, or the movements of the stars. So, I might cut open a dog and read in the guts the fall of a civilization. The same author has a field guide on The Art of Seduction. I will pass it along to my colleagues, The Lords and Ladies of the Road. But when it comes to peddling Wisdom and Virtue, even the poorest Beggar has more than he needs. Those who go in finery and robes of office, give Wisdom and Virtue away like cast off costumes after Carnival. If I had any credibility left, I would use it to ask forgiveness for having, through my own repeated example, called our game into disrepute. This is no time or place for honesty. I knew that before I wrote this post. And I did it anyway. I have only myself to blame. But I am sorry.