The Widdershins

Good Monday, all! I am positively plotzing with excitement today, as this week we’ll see the very first Republican debates of the 2016 election season! Ah, I can just smell that odeur de Wingnut in the air….that peculiar mixture of religious insanity, cheap hucksterism, rage against everyone who isn’t male, white and Christian, and heartless, ravening greed! And lest you think you will be cheated out of listening to, and watching, all those exuding that intoxicating scent, fear not! On Thursday, August 6, there will be not just one, but two Republican debates, including the full multitude of wackadoodles currently pretending to be Presidential material. Rejoice!!

Perhaps I shouldn’t be quite so thrilled, since no less an expert than Newt Gingrich seems to feel things may not go so well. Oh noooooo…..

“There is more downside than upside for most candidates, and the first goal is to try not to self-destruct,” said former House speaker Newt Gingrich, who ran for the GOP nomination in 2012.

“You don’t want to get in a situation where you knock yourself out,” Gingrich said. “The candidates ought to figure out what their message is for the American people rather than worrying too much about the back-and-forth with others.”

But the presence of Trump, who has in recent days attacked former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Texas governor Rick Perry, makes calculations more difficult. Every candidate will have a strategy for making a memorable impression. “Every candidate has to have a Trump strategy” as well, said an experienced GOP operative.

Hahaha! Oh my goodness…I can hardly contain my anticipation. We’ll get two hours of blooper reel out of this, and months, years of satire! I truly wish I could be in the audience so I could make sure to help them crash and burn with some questions that would make them show their true stinky colors, like, for example:

  1. How many troops are you prepared to deploy to stop women from having abortions?
  2. If a conflict arises between the Constitution and the Bible, which one would you obey?
  3. Should we use nukes to bomb Iran?
  4. Was Barack Obama born in America?
  5. Is Hillary Clinton a member of the KKK?

What about you? What questions would you ask them if you could? Post them in the comments. Have fun!

This is an open thread. [In this video, you’ll see some more burning questions that could stump the Goopers.]

wacko criminal lineup(complete with the same Bourbon St lineup!)

Good day to you Widdershins!

Yes Fredster is back with some of his odd, funny or just weird items he has culled from the internet and bookmarked.  Now one or two of these may be repeats.  I got sort of sloppy with deleting things.  If so, just pretend you haven’t read it before.

Lee Vern Cook was a good friend

In fact he was such a good friend that he brought his friend in the I.C.U. some crack cocaine so they could smoke it together.  There’s just nothing like sharing with your bestest bud is there?  However there was a tiny, itsy-bitsy problem.  You see, his friend was in the I.C.U. and was receiving oxygen through a mask and…

Cook is accused of visiting a bed-ridden friend in the North Okaloosa Medical Center Intensive Care Unit, bringing with him crack cocaine, a pipe from which to smoke the drug and a firearm. The two smoked the cocaine together from a homemade device, police say, but the patient wore an oxygen mask and the flame from lighting the pipe mixed with the gas to rapidly cause a fire.

Yeah, an open flame and a flammable gas are not two things that mix together well.

he was arrested on multiple charges, including arson, five counts of possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

And the friend didn’t do so well either.

Burn damage was limited to bed linens, the patient’s gown and the oxygen mask itself. The patient suffered injuries and was transferred to a burn unit, but the hospital was not evacuated. Cook suffered burns to his hands and was evaluated before being taken to jail.

I’m hoping the patient wasn’t wearing the oxygen mask at the time, but ya know…odds are he probably was.

I don’t know what it is…

But there just seems to be something with Waffle House restaurants and Georgia and strange behavior.  I’ve documented that here and here.  And yet, here we go again.

Emanuel Williams worked at a Waffle House in Macon Georgia.  It was apparently a slow day around lunch time (?) and they weren’t busy.  (Seriously?  Not busy at lunch time?  I mean W.H. does have other items besides waffles.)   So anyway

Williams and a female coworker were the only employees in the eatery Monday when Williams announced that he was preparing to pleasure himself. The woman, who said she was on the phone at the time, told deputies that she did not take Williams seriously.

Apparently she didn’t take him seriously because she stayed on the phone continuing her conversation.  This was not a good decision.

Upon finishing her call, the woman “walked over to the suspect to see if he really was jacking his peen, and he was,” an investigator reported. The woman said that she began recording Williams with her phone because she “knew no one would believe her” when she later recounted the incident.

“She stated that as she was recording him, she was telling him the whole time that she was recording him and that he was a pervert,” a deputy noted. “She stated that he responded by saying he wasn’t a pervert he was just a freak.”

Well I for one am so glad that Emmanuel cleared up that thing with the difference between pervert and freak.  But wait because the pervert thing may uh, come up again.

The coworker told investigators that when she told Williams that he should not be surprised if the video began circulating, he “stated that he didn’t care.” The woman said that Williams “continued on until he masturbated,” adding that she told him she hopes he washes his hands.”

And that will most likely end my patronage of the local Waffle House.  Sure, those late night/early a.m. hunger pangs have led me to the local W.H for a 3 egg omelet with some scattered and smothered hash browns at times, but I’m figuring that the woman was a waitress and that would make Emmanuel…the cook(?)  Eep!   But yes, there’s still more

Williams, pictured at right[no I didn’t put the photo in here], is on the Bibb County sex offenders list due to a 1999 rape conviction for which the convicted felon served nearly a decade in state prison.

So when the co-worker’s video ended up on Facebook, a tv station picked up the story and from there it went to the police who recognized him.  The police wanted him on charges of public indecency and violating his probation.  They also issued a warrant for Violation of Sex Offender Registry for failing to disclose his employment at Waffle House to law enforcement officials.

Sigh.  I just don’t know about Waffle House anymore or whether it’s just Waffle Houses in Georgia.  I mean, from trying to rob one with a pitchfork to “engaging in the sex act” in a pickup truck at another, my 3 a.m. hunger pangs may just have to be satisfied with a p.b. and j.  😳

Creepy photographs!

Okay, for this one you’ll have to go the site, to check out 16 of the creepiest photographs ever taken.  Some of them aren’t that bad, but others, yikes!  😱  (check the one with the sheep!)

And Finally:  They take their privacy seriously
in Kentucky

So William Meredith was at his home in Hillview Ky, outside of Louisville, when he sees a drone appear in his neighbor’s yard and it drops down where the neighbor has a canopy in his yard.  Meredith decided he wasn’t going to do anything about it unless it came over his property.  Well…the next thing he knows the drone is hovering over his yard where he has two teenaged daughters who had been sunbathing.

Merideth told WRDB: “Well, I came out and it was down by the neighbor’s house, about 10 feet off the ground, looking under their canopy that they’ve got under their back yard. I went and got my shotgun and I said, ‘I’m not going to do anything unless it’s directly over my property.'”

And then it allegedly was.

And then he decided to do something about it.  He shot it with his shotgun.

Merideth explained: “I didn’t shoot across the road, I didn’t shoot across my neighbor’s fences, I shot directly into the air.”

He says that shortly after the shooting, he received a visit from four men who claimed to be responsible for the drone, who explained that Merideth owed $1,800.

Merideth says he stood his ground: “I had my 40mm Glock on me and they started toward me and I told them, ‘If you cross my sidewalk, there’s gonna be another shooting.'”

There appears not to have been another shooting. However, Merideth was arrested for wanton endangerment and criminal mischief. There is, apparently, a local ordinance that says you can’t shoot a gun off in the city, but the police charged him under a Kentucky Revised Statute.

For his part, Merideth says he will sue the drone’s owners. He told WRDB: “You know, when you’re in your own property, within a six-foot privacy fence, you have the expectation of privacy. We don’t know if he was looking at the girls. We don’t know if he was looking for something to steal. To me, it was the same as trespassing.”

These things are getting annoying and in California they even hampered the firefighting effort of combating the forest fires there.

Some youtube clips for your amusement
and enjoyment

You know that thing about grumpy old men yelling “Get off my lawn!” ?  Well here’s one of a grumpy old prince (who’s married to Liz, HRH) and he drops an F-bomb.

Well, he is indeed old, in his 90s and it was noisy in there with Prince William and the some of the other old coots flapping their jaws.  Maybe he just wanted to go back to the Palace and take a nap.

Okay here’s one where Jerry Springer should have gone along with the reporter covering the story because it’s a story he’s all to familiar with.  It involved a house fire (deliberately set?), a married couple, and a cousin.  Oh and it appears this one happened north of the Mason-Dixon line.  :lol:

This last one is a cute video of a baby elephant being bothered by some pesky swallows and being none too happy about it.

Okay Widdershins that’s all I have today.  This is an open thread so take the discussion wherever you wish to do so.

Mangled metaphors don’t make much sense upon first reading them, but I always particularly enjoy rereading them where they make even less sense.  This post is an example of not believing a situation even after re-rereading it.Church and State

On these pages I have previously mentioned Liberty Law School in Lynchburg, Virginia.  It is part of the Falwell Liberty University family business empire.  The Bushes and Pauls have politics as a family business, the Falwells have Liberty University.  Liberty Law School costs about $60,000 a year and is a third or fourth tier law school, but don’t worry, it is a solid third or fourth tier school since there’s nothing lower.

Liberty churns out lawyers to defend against the unwarranted and oppressive discrimination against the religion practices of a mere 83% of Americans — with 13% being non-believers, that leaves a mere 4% for all the other religions.  Remember that the next time some blowhard starts talking about Muslim Americans taking over the country, but I digress.

According to a world view consistent with Liberty Law School, at every turn in modern-day America the vast majority, 83% to be exact, of practicing Christians are being harassed in some form or fashion.

Lay back and allow the satire to wash over you, but this is one such story of unconscionable intolerance of religion and the unwarranted harassment of practicing Christians.

The Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice has an anti-discrimination policy requiring “fair and equal treatment without bias” for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and intersex juveniles.”  Under the policy, detention center staff and volunteers cannot tell the juveniles “that they are abnormal, deviant, sinful or that they should change their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Funny how this works both ways...

Funny how this works both ways…

A gentleman named David Wells is a Baptist minister who volunteers at one regional juvenile detention center.  He was asked to leave the detention center on July 7th because he couldn’t or wouldn’t comply with the anti-discrimination policy.

Enter Liberty Counsel to the rescue – the same Liberty Counsel that has been named a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.  A lawyer with Liberty Counsel wrote a letter to the Kentucky Juvenile Justice Commissioner stating, “This policy needs to be revoked by Friday, August 1st, or face litigation.”  By the way, that is tomorrow.

So I’m being perfectly clear, Liberty Counsel, under some twisted, convoluted, backasswards reading of the U.S. and state Constitutions believes there is some protected right to enter into a state facility and proceed to proselytize to vulnerable juveniles that they are “sinful, abnormal, and deviant.”

Just so happens, Liberty Counsel is also representing a County Clerk refusing to issue marriage licenses to anyone wanting to be married – straight or gay.  Her solution and that of Liberty Counsel is exactly what you would expect from a third or fourth tier legal mind.  Their remedy:  Get in your car and drive until you come to a county where they are issuing marriage licenses – no harm, no foul.  Forget about the clerk resigning.  Forget about the clerk allowing her assistants to issue the licenses.  Forget about everything, every last thing, other than this particular clerk’s avowed religious practices.Tolerance

The outrageous nature of this situation demonstrates something that is forgotten in these days of ever-heightening personal megaphone wattage:  The First Amendment may give the right to scream your ever-living lungs out, but that does not entitle you to free rein over someone else’s ears.

Perpetual victimhood is embraced by organizations like Liberty Counsel.  The symbiotic relationship of fundraising and patently bogus notions pad their bank accounts affording the handsome salaries paid to those who promote the perpetual victimhood.  There you have the circle of life for groups like Liberty Counsel.  It is in this world that somehow it makes sense that the religion espoused by 83% of the population is being victimized when people exhibit some modicum of discernment at what their ears usher into their brain.

To advance yet another tortured metaphor:  You can scream, but I can run and hide.

Take the conversation to any topic you might like to explore.

By now you have probably heard about Mike Huckabee’s shamelessly disgusting comments invoking the Holocaust to prove he’s up to the job of “presidenting”.   Then there’s Ted Cruz belching a verbal diarrhea by declaring Obama, and by guilty association the U.S., as Witches of McBeththe foremost sponsors of state terrorism.  Rounding out the field and proving it’s never too early to declare demagoguery as a career choice, Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton declared John Kerry a modern-day Pontius Pilate.  Maybe Cotton can ask his pen pal the Ayatollah for advice on how to handle such matters.

And I haven’t even gotten to Donald Trump.  I could go on, but why go to the trouble?  The downward spiral in which Republicans find themselves is the pull of the great porcelain bowl of politics where dead goldfish and human waste are celebrated with one final kerplunk.

You are asking, as am I, “Why would anyone with political walking around sense act so incurably deranged?”  The vapid teevee bobble heads lay the blame to the “Trumping down” of political rhetoric.  There are others who claim it is merely a gambit to get on next week’s Fox debate stage.  Finally, there are those who pull on their black pajamas while watching for the matching helicopter to complete their ensemble and declare the incendiary commenters “truth-tellers”. Just plain lazy, lazy, lazy – so lazy is this lack of analysis, it’s like the mosquito that starved to death stranded at a blood bank.

Chart Republican IdeologyThe real truth about this flame-throwing is simple and can be explained in one question:  Why do bank robbers rob banks?  Because that is where the money is.

The Republicans are infecting the 20-30% of their base with this poisonous rhetoric because that is where the sure-fire voters are.  The angrier you are and the more fearful you are, the likelier you are to vote, donate, or volunteer as per a Pew Foundation Study.

Every politician has a choice between the rhetoric of Column A and Column B.  Column A is a conversation about two divergent, but well-meaning philosophies.  Column B is an apocalyptic confrontation of biblical proportions between good and evil – virtue and sin.  Column B will get you more donations, more press, more social media buzz, more volunteers, and most importantly, more votes.

While I believe there is a certain amount of “Trumping down” of the political discourse – the true reason we are witnessing these sandpaper tongues is fear of being culled from the herd.  If you want to blend in with zebras, you have to make sure your stripes are going in the right direction.  You have to fear the same fears and be angry about the same anger-making issues.  If there isn’t anything that causes fear or anger, you have to conjure them up like so many distempered unicorns.Ideological Silos

What is alarming for the “Sweet 16” is this little fact:  Trump maintains a double-digit lead among voters who identify as very conservative, somewhat conservative and with the Tea Party. Scott Walker is his nearest competitor in most of those metrics.  If you want to rob some votes, you go to where the votes are and that would be those attracted to the foul-smelling stench of the carrion wafting from Trump.

When I was consulting it was relatively simple to check the health of virtually any organization by asking the management team two questions:  How do you spend your time and do you spend it with your high performers or with the lower performing problem causers?  Poor managers spend about 80% of their time with the lowest performing 20% of trouble-makers.  This bottom 20% are the loudest, most vocal, and by far the most destructive force within any organization.  They curse any organization to a never-ending cycle of ever declining mediocrity.

Welcome to the modern-day GOP.  After declaring their problems solved by a post-election autopsy in 2013, just like the Walking Dead, you can’t keep a good zombie down.

Fox DebateNot for a minute do I believe ding-dong Donald will be the Republican nominee.  What I do believe with conviction is that this rhetorical Mariana Trench tour is damaging to the political process especially given the hackney-eyed congressional districts.  Fifty of these gerrymandered, radical know-nothings have hijacked Congress for five years now.  I don’t want to see the same knuckle-dragging fanatics sabotage President Hillary’s first term.

The brilliance of Prince Reince of Priebus was to winnow down the primary field and streamline the process.  So what did he do?  He outsourced those chores to Fox News.  Fox then arbitrarily placed a cut-off at ten participants to be determined by national polling.  As luck and conniving minds would have it, to “Viagracize flaccid poll numbers” ads would need to be run on the sole news source for three-quarters of conservative voters.  Roger Ailes has again proved “being unafraid of being fairly imbalanced” is a great business model.

I hope your day is a good one and please take this conversation in any direction you might like to explore.

Attribution: Reuters

Can I just tell you I am LOVING Our Girl these days? It’s wonderful watching her feel free to tell it like it is. Unlike in 2008, the Party is behind her, and she knows it. This time around, it’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The stiff, overly cautious persona she was forced to project has disappeared like der Jebinator’s famous exclamation point.

Take the issue of gender. In 2008, it should have been central to her campaign. But at the time, she was hampered by a barrage of sexism coming from a place she least expected it – her own Party – which played right into Barack Obama’s hands. And, had he been white, that tactic wouldn’t have been nearly as effective (a fact which she pointed out, correctly, and was called a r*cist for it).

Now, she feels no compunction about pointing out the blindingly obvious.

Hillary Clinton is touting her potential to make history as the nation’s first female president as “one of the merits” behind her campaign.

She played up her gender during a stop in West Columbia, South Carolina on Thursday. When a man told Clinton that his 10-year-old daughter told him, “You guys have had it long enough,” Clinton seized the moment.

“Clearly, I’m not asking people to vote for me simply because I’m a woman. I’m asking people to vote for me on the merits,” Clinton said.

Then she directly addressed gender, adding: “I think one of the merits is I am a woman. And I can bring those views and perspectives to the White House.”

Well, duh?! Of course a different perspective and views are needed. Do we really think things are going well after almost eight years of the “most progressive President evah”? Thanks to our moronic wars of choice in Afghanistan and Iraq (which Obama, of course, continued), we have so much hatred against us in the Muslim world that terrorist groups like ISIS are on the rise. The toppling of Iraq’s Sunni government gave Iran so much power that we have been forced to negotiate a nuclear deal with that country, which has hardly proved reliable on this issue in the past. And Obama’s embrace of Austerity has done nothing but hurt the U.S. and global economy (although he’s made a few feebly encouraging pronouncements recently, there hasn’t been any substantive change to support them – like, perhaps, investing in infrastructure and job creation, raising taxes on the wealthy…etc..) I could go on and on, but I think you get my point.

Read the rest of this entry »

Happy National Tequila Day, Widdershins!  Considering everyone’s life lately, could this have come at a better time?  I think not.

Tequila is not my drink of choice, but sometime there’s just nothing like a Margarita.  Cold, tart, salty, slushy – just perfect on a hot summer’s day, or about 9 months of the year down here in SoFLA.  For the purists, there’s the traditional shot of tequila with a slice of lime after licking some salt off the back of your hand.  For those who prefer a sweet drink, there’s the Tequila Sunrise , and for fans of the bittersweet in life, hoist a Salty Perro or two.  At any rate, there’s something for every palate – assuming that you like tequila, of course.

There are also an amazing number of songs that reference tequila.  I easily found 100 or so.  Of course, many of them are en español, but there are still plenty of them in English.  So, hoist a glass of whatever’s handy and drink a toast to National Tequila Day – and to a better week ahead.  List your songs below, as well as your thoughts about whatever comes to mind.

This is a seriously open thread.

(1) Ten Rounds With Jose Cuerva – Tracy Byrd

(2) Straight Tequila Night – John Anderson

(3) Margaritaville – Jimmy Buffett and Alan Jackson

(4) Tequila! – The Champs

(5) Tequila – The Pretenders

Being someone who can’t allow a canine to continue a respite undisturbed, I wanted to follow-up on yesterday’s post concerning the business model of conservative media.  Best explained, it’s an amalgamated business model combining shampoo directions with recipe instructions for meringue.  Beat to a hard frothy peak and repeat.Pew Study

Some interesting data points jumped out at me while reading the year-long study by the Pew Foundation on the news consumption habits of liberals and conservatives.  As I indicated yesterday, people who are consistently liberal consume news through a variety of sources – there is no one primary source.  Conversely, people who are consistently conservative consume their news from one big pot of Fox goo – they don’t look beyond the catchphrase “fair, balanced, and unafraid.”

There’s also another difference.  As a rule, liberals are more trusting.  Liberals trust more than distrust where conservatives see distrust as the lifeblood of their existence.  Imagine what that feels like – the negativity of distrust permeating the way you see the world and more importantly, coloring the way in which you interact with the world.  It seems as if the research regarding the larger, fear-inducing amygdala of conservatives is consistent with the business model that is the pot-o-gold of Fox News.

Given that the teevee remote controls of conservatives ostensibly limit viewing to Fox only, a little examination of what they might be seeing on their “trusted news source” is in order.  For instance, from May 1st to June 30th of this year, there were 141 appearances by the various sixteen Republican presidential candidates.  In June alone, there were 73 appearances by candidates.

As consumers of the news, we have become so anesthetized to the incestuous nature of Fox and Republican politics we simply just don’t pay attention any more.  Well, here’s a fact that should get everyone’s knickers in a bunch:  There are sixteen declared candidates for the Republican nomination.  Of those sixteen, how many have been on the payroll of Fox?  Waiting, waiting, waiting.

Four of the sixteen – Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, and John Kasich have cashed regular paychecks from Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes.  Taxing my higher mathematical skills, that is twenty-five percent of those vying for the Republican nomination have also been paid employees of Fox News.

If you add the regular Monday gig Donald Trump had on “Fox and Fiends,” about one-third of the candidates for the Republican nomination have had regular opportunities to proselytize on Fox.  In other words, Fox News has been the Father Flanagan for the Boy’s Town of wayward and unemployed Republican misfits.

Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and others have a sweet business model given the way conservatives consume news.  Their dedicated audience is a guaranteed advertising stream which brings us to a simple question – why would they ever change?

And the answer is:  They won’t.  Right here, today, I’m making a prediction.  Remember where you heard it first.

For women...November 9th, 2016, will be a miraculous day.  It will be the day after the election.  It will be a transformative day.  It will be a day heralding more immediate changes than the Reformation.  For conservatives, it will give meaning to the marketing term, “new and improved”.

With just a “wave of a magic penis,” on November 9th, 2016, millions of bigots will be transformed into rabid, chauvinistic sexists.  It will be a day of transition like no other led by the likes of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh – both trusted sources of the fairly imbalanced philosophy.

One last thought – a more interesting race might be among those who will again get Fox contracts?  You can bet that battle will be hard-fought.  The countdown has begun.

Your thoughts and comments on any subject are encouraged and welcomed.


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