The Widdershins

Good Weekend Widdershins

Happy weekend to you widdershins.

As crazy, insane and bizarro-world as this past week has been I thought perhaps we needed professional help.  Professional help in the form of some political cartoons.  Well that and there’s an early afternoon Saints exhibition game on so I’m gonna be elsewhere until later in the day.  So with that let’s take a look at some toons.

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And last:

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Okay shinners, hope you enjoyed those and I’ll see y’all after the Saints game is over

 

 

One of the side effects of all the discussion around including transwomen in women’s sports has been the regular repetition that women are slower and weaker and can’t compete with the male-bodied. I wanted to add a biologist’s view on that and then mention something I saw about ultramarathoners.

So I’ll start with women being smaller, weaker, and all the rest.

When I was young and foolish I once asked my biology teacher why it was that way. It seems to cause nothing but problems. She pointed out that female physiology and anatomy puts its first priority on producing the next generation. Take for instance menstruation. If you have that level of internal bleeding in any other organ, male or female, you’re in the emergency room. Women’s physiology can withstand it to the extent that some women can even run marathons at the same time.

Males, on the other hand, expend very little physical capital in producing the next generation. In nature’s cold calculations, that means they’re expendable. You don’t need very many of them and you’ll still have a next generation. The tribes that survived the most were the ones where males used that expendability in the service of the tribe: they did the dangerous jobs of defense against other people and wild animals. Obviously, for that task, you’ll last longer if you’re big, fast and strong.

But wouldn’t women last longer too, by the same logic, if they were big and fast and strong? No, for a very simple reason. All that muscle and large skeleton and higher basal metabolism takes calories to maintain. For most of human history, calories were in short supply.

A pregnant or nursing woman with male athletic abilities would have a physiology that required way more calories per day, on the order of over 4000, instead of the 3000 or so she needs if she’s woman-sized. Interestingly enough, athletic men have caloric requirements of around 3000 too.

So the system as evolution worked it out for us is that both sexes have similar peak needs and can survive under similar conditions. Some of the peak work they do differs, but the overall requirements are the same. That allows them to live together in groups, which has lots of survival value itself, instead of living like two different species that have different requirements.

As for the problems caused by strength differences, it’s worth remembering that from an evolutionary standpoint, no tribe would last very long if the bear-fighters in it decided to use their strength to damage the next generation instead of help it. Hurting the mothers of it does exactly that. Evolutionary biologists call that reduction in offspring “reducing evolutionary fitness,” and a very small reduction is enough to wipe out a species.

Misogyny is a luxury available only to rich species.

Point 1 is that women push their bodies and physical abilities to a level like that of elite athletes, with the difference that most women do childbirth and nursing, but plenty of men don’t put large demands on their bodies at all. The weakness people keep yammering on about is pretty much limited to a few specific activities that men excel in.

Point 2 is that the usual solution to significant differences in sporting ability is to segregate the participants into different classes. There are youth leagues and seniors’ events. There are eight (8!) classes in boxing separated by approximately eight pounds, just a bit over three and a half kilos. And there are men’s sports and women’s. Only in the latter case do some people claim that large differences in bone and muscle mass don’t matter. They’ve decided only testosterone levels must approach those found in women. That’s particularly odd given that, for instance, in a sport like boxing fighters will try to dehydrate themselves to pass as a lower weight class and then have the advantage of an extra few pounds of mass (not muscle, just water) during the fight itself.

It’s actually more than odd since scholarships, prize money, or college tuition can be at stake. Taking those away from women on grounds that aren’t applied in any male classes of sport smacks of misogyny.

And, last, point 3. The much-ballyhooed business of being weaker. Turns out that’s not true in some very demanding sports. Are women better ultra-endurance athletes than men? asks Sophie Williams.

“He [Dr Nicholas Tiller, a senior lecturer in applied physiology at Sheffield Hallam University] said that in ultra-endurance races, athletes are never working close to their maximum capacity. It is much more about peripheral conditioning, oxygen efficiency and mental toughness.” …

Fiona Oakes, an ultra-marathon runner and holder of four world records [said,]

“Certainly from when I’ve done races, women manage themselves in a completely different way,” she told the BBC.

Let’s see … tougher, better able to cope with emotions, more stamina … not your usual definition of “weaker,” is it?

Sometimes — well, all the time — I dream of a better world in which we’ve dropped all the stupid boxes nobody really fits in anyway. Instead we’re in awe of the amazing diversity of strengths we have.

Fiona Kolbinger, winner, 2019 Transcontinental Race

Fiona Kolbinger, whose day job is cancer research, wins the 4000km 2019 Transcontinental (Europe) Race 10 hours ahead of the guy in second place. (Photographer unknown)

 

[This started as a comment on a post about this topic. It’s since expanded.]

Hello Widdershins! Happy Sunday!

So let’s see, has anything happened? Anything at all? Hmm… Oh yeah, Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide and Donald Trump tweeted a meme blaming the Clintons for murdering him. Mind you, Trump wasn’t the only one doing that. Bernie Sanders supporters did the same thing. So there you are.

On to more pleasant weekend shenanigans. This week I noticed something: the days are getting noticeably shorter. I know it’s still only middle of August, but the seasons have been so crazy this year that I think summer is over and Autumn is just around the corner. So, in anticipation of cooler temperatures (one hopes) and Autumn, let’s do Autumn/cold weather themed songs.

Good morning, Widdershins. What a horrific weekend we all had in America, as the two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio created twin waves of terror both locally, and throughout the United States. We grieve desperately for the victims and their loved ones and, once again, our sense of safety “outside” is eroded bit by bit, day by day.

If only these were the first, or last, of these mass shootings in our country. According to CBS News, there have been more than one per day since January 1, 2019.

As of Sunday, which was the 216th day of the year, there have been 251 mass shootings in the U.S., according to data from the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, which tracks every mass shooting in the country. The Gun Violence Archive defines a mass shooting as any incident in which at least four people were shot, excluding the shooter.

The toll of 251 mass shootings include five high-profile rampages in the past eight days, in which more than 100 people were shot [bolding mine]:

*A shooting in a historic district of Dayton, Ohio, with 9 people killed and 27 injured.

*A shooting at Walmart in El Paso, Texas, with 20 people killed and 26 wounded. It was the deadliest shooting of the year.

*A shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in the San Francisco Bay Area, with three people killed and 15 injured.

*A shooting at a Brooklyn block party, with one person killed and 11 injured.

*A shooting at a Walmart in Southaven, Mississippi, with two people killed and two injured.

As an ENTJ, I deal with my feelings through thinking. Figuring out how we can stop this from happening is my way of processing these senseless and terrible attacks. I hope, then, you will indulge me as I go step-by-step through the conclusions that led me to the title and point of my post.

Conclusion 1: White supremacy is now a national security threat, and white supremacists are terrorists. Since most shootings are carried out by white men with white supremacist views, we need to start treating white supremacy like other terrorist ideologies and organizations. This means not only prosecuting white supremacists as domestic terrorists, but also shutting down the forums where they organize online.

The big picture: In addition to the El Paso shooter, extremist killers from the deadly attacks on two mosques in New Zealand and a San Diego-area synagogue previewed their acts of terror on 8chan. “Once again a terrorist used 8chan to spread his message as he knew people would save it and spread it,” said founder Fredrick Brennan, who stopped working with the site’s current owners in December. “The board is a receptive audience for domestic terrorists.”

Many experts agree that domestic terrorism is inspired by white supremacy, including the head of the FBI, Christopher Wray – who, ironically, was appointed by the Nazi-in-Chief, Der Drumpfenfuhrer. And speaking of that feces-throwing orangutan squatting in the Oval Office…

Conclusion 2: With their racist words and constant talk of violence against immigrants and other people of color, Drumpf and the Republicans are encouraging white supremacy, and are therefore enabling domestic terrorism. As I wrote in October of 2018, after the attacks on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh:

I am writing today’s post with tears in my eyes and fury in my heart.  For over three years now, we’ve seen the horrific evil of the worst of America become ascendant, and the media deliberately turn a blind eye to it; in fact, we’ve seen them refuse to call it by its name.

Let’s be very, very clear. The modern Republican party, once home to noble public servants like Abraham Lincoln and Dwight D. Eisenhower, has become a refuge for the most deplorable sub-human creatures that ever crawled upon the surface of the earth.

There is no longer any difference between Republicans and Nazis.

It is taking a long time for the realization to percolate through our culture, but this weekend we are seeing the political world begin to focus its wrath on the people who deserve it. Writes the incomparable Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post:

For decades now, Republicans have insisted mass murders with semiautomatic weapons are not reflective of a gun problem. I can no longer comprehend how such a ludicrous assertion is remotely acceptable. But in one sense they are right: It’s not merely Republicans’ indulgence of the National Rifle Association that puts Americans’ lives in jeopardy; it is the support and enabling of a president that inspires white nationalist terrorists — and even denies white nationalism is a problem.

[snip]

…we are awash in hate crimes and white nationalist-inspired mass murders. We have a president whose words inspire and bolster perpetrators of these heinous acts. That makes Trump not only a moral abomination, which no policy outcome can offset, but a threat to national security. Those encouraged by his words in recent years kill more Americans than Islamist terrorists. If that is not justification for bipartisan repudiation of this president and removal from office at the earliest possible moment I don’t know what is. Those who countenance and support this president for his white-grievance mongering are not merely “deplorable” but dangerous.

As I write this, Democrats have taken to the airwaves and Twitter to demand #MoscowMitch recall the Senate and put the gun control measures the House passed FIVE MONTHS AGO to a vote. (Note: McConnell has allegedly fractured his shoulder. If true, thoughts and prayers, Mitch.) For those who have been yelling at Nancy Pelosi for months saying she isn’t doing enough and her strategy sucks, she was right all along. This is EXACTLY how to win against the Rethugs and Drumpf. Show your priorities. Show that you keep your promises. And if you don’t get your way, show the contrast between your actions and those of the Rethugs. Which leads me to my final conclusion…

Conclusion 3: Spend your time on voter registration efforts before the 2020 election. For far too long, there has been a “bothsides” epidemic on gun control. The truth is, when Democrats are in charge, we get legislation like the assault weapons ban in 1994; when Republicans are in charge, we get the overturning of the assault weapons ban, the loosening of laws against mentally ill people getting access to guns, open carry laws…the list goes on and on. This obvious truth has been obscured by a psy-ops campaign against the American people, led by the NRA and its enablers (now including Russia, as we know!).

In 2020, we need to both keep the House, and take the Senate and the Presidency. The Republicans’ white supremacist-enabling inaction on gun control is literally killing hundreds of thousands of people, both at the border and here at home. Let’s do our best to make sure everyone votes blue next November. Our lives depend on it.

This is an open thread.

Good Weekend Widdershins

So this past week we had the second of twenty-three quilizion Democratic candidate debates.  Actually I’m not sure how many are scheduled but I know the next one is set for September in Houston Texas.  I’ll add a widget for that later.

Purportedly the idea is to present all the candidates who want to run as the Democratic nominee and have them answer some questions about their positions on various issues.  Then, Democratic voters and the public at large can make a choice on who they prefer and want to support.

So it comes down to choices, and with that in mind let’s take a look at some songs about choices.  Choice or choices can be in the title or lyrics, or it can involve decisions or anything similar.  No strict rules here.

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Okie-doke Widdershins, there ya go.  Consider adding some of your own choices in the comments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cuz we’re all hippy,pinko,commie fags

Good Weekend Widdershins!

 

So there’s another blog that I follow, Louisiana Voice, written by Tom Aswell.  Tom has had a varied career.  He’s been a journalist, sports journalist, an employee of the state of Louisiana and some others.

 

Tom freely admits that until fairly recently he’s been a Republican.  I have no idea if he was always a Republican, a “Reagan Democrat” or what.  However, two things changed him:  eight years of Bobby Jindal in the governor’s mansion in Baton Rouge, and the current occupant of the White House.  Now I don’t know if Tom’s a “Democratic”now or if he just moved into that every growing category of Independent.

Nevertheless he said he recently got this from a friend and he shared it on his blog.  As he said, reading it he couldn’t see anything anyone with a brain could disagree with.  And I agree with him.  So that being said I thought I would share it here for your thoughts, critiques, and opinions.

Not every liberal is the same, The majority of liberals I know think along roughly these same lines, though there are those who would eagerly but unfairly paint us with a much broader brush:

  1. I believe a country should take care of its weakest members. A country cannot call itself civilized when its children, disabled, sick, and elderly are neglected. Period.
  2. I believe healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Somehow that’s interpreted as “I believe Obamacare is the end-all, be-all.” This is not the case. I’m fully aware that the ACA has problems, that a national healthcare system would require everyone to chip in, and that it’s impossible to create one that is devoid of flaws, but I have yet to hear an argument against it that makes “let people die because they can’t afford healthcare” a better alternative. I believe healthcare should be far cheaper than it is, and that everyone should have access to it. And no, I’m not opposed to paying higher taxes in the name of making that happen.
  3. I believe education should be affordable and accessible to everyone. It doesn’t necessarily have to be free (though it works in other countries so I’m mystified as to why it can’t work in the US), but at the end of the day, there is no excuse for students graduating college saddled with five- or six-figure debt.
  4. I don’t believe your money should be taken from you and given to people who don’t want to work. I have literally never encountered anyone who believes this. Ever. I just have a massive moral problem with a society where a handful of people can possess the majority of the wealth while there are people literally starving to death, freezing to death, or dying because they can’t afford to go to the doctor. Fair wages, lower housing costs, universal healthcare, affordable education, and the wealthy actually paying their share would go a long way toward alleviating this. Somehow believing that makes me a communist.
  5. I don’t throw around “I’m willing to pay higher taxes” lightly. If I’m suggesting something that involves paying more, well, it’s because I’m fine with paying my share as long as it’s actually going to something besides lining corporate pockets or bombing other countries while Americans die without healthcare.
  1. I believe companies should be required to pay their employees a decent, livable wage. Somehow this is always interpreted as me wanting burger flippers to be able to afford a penthouse apartment and a Mercedes. What it actually means is that no one should have to work three full-time jobs just to keep their head above water. Restaurant servers should not have to rely on tips, multibillion-dollar companies should not have employees on food stamps, workers shouldn’t have to work themselves into the ground just to barely make ends meet, and minimum wage should be enough for someone to work 40 hours and live.
  2. I am not anti-Christian. I have no desire to stop Christians from being Christians, to close churches, to ban the Bible, to forbid prayer in school, etc. (BTW, prayer in school is NOT illegal; “compulsory” prayer in school is – and should be – illegal). All I ask is that Christians recognize “my” right to live according to “my” beliefs. When I get pissed off that a politician is trying to legislate Scripture into law, I’m not “offended by Christianity” — I’m offended that you’re trying to force me to live by your religion’s rules. You know how you get really upset at the thought of Muslims imposing Sharia law on you? That’s how I feel about Christians trying to impose Biblical law on me. Be a Christian. Do your thing. Just don’t force it on me or mine.
  3. I don’t believe LGBT people should have more rights than you. I just believe they should have the “same” rights as you.
  4. I don’t believe illegal immigrants should come to America and have the world at their feet, especially since THIS ISN’T WHAT THEY DO (spoiler: undocumented immigrants are ineligible for all those programs they’re supposed to be abusing, and if they’re “stealing” your job it’s because your employer is hiring illegally). I’m not opposed to deporting people who are here illegally, but I believe there are far more humane ways to handle undocumented immigration than our current practices (i.e., detaining children, splitting up families, ending DACA, etc.).
  5. I don’t believe the government should regulate everything, but since greed is such a driving force in our country, we NEED regulations to prevent cut corners, environmental destruction, tainted food/water, unsafe materials in consumable goods or medical equipment, etc. It’s not that I want the government’s hands in everything — I just don’t trust people trying to make money to ensure that their products/practices, etc. are actually SAFE. Is the government devoid of shadiness? Of course not. But with those regulations in place, consumers have recourse if they’re harmed and companies are liable for medical bills, environmental cleanup, etc. It just kind of seems like common sense when the alternative to government regulation is letting companies bring their bottom line into the equation.
  1. I believe our current administration is fascist. Not because I dislike them or because I can’t get over an election, but because I’ve spent too many years reading and learning about the Third Reich to miss the similarities. Not because any administration I dislike must be Nazis, but because things are actually mirroring authoritarian and fascist regimes of the past.
  2. I believe the systemic racism and misogyny in our society is much worse than many people think, and desperately needs to be addressed. Which means those with privilege — white, straight, male, economic, etc. — need to start listening, even if you don’t like what you’re hearing, so we can start dismantling everything that’s causing people to be marginalized.
  3. I am not interested in coming after your blessed guns, nor is anyone serving in government. What I am interested in is sensible policies, including background checks, that just MIGHT save one person’s, perhaps a toddler’s, life by the hand of someone who should not have a gun. (Got another opinion? Put it on your page, not mine).
  4. I believe in so-called political correctness. I prefer to think it’s social politeness. If I call you Chuck and you say you prefer to be called Charles, I’ll call you Charles. It’s the polite thing to do. Not because everyone is a delicate snowflake, but because as Maya Angelou put it, when we know better, we do better. When someone tells you that a term or phrase is more accurate/less hurtful than the one you’re using, you now know better. So why not do better? How does it hurt you to NOT hurt another person?
  5. I believe in funding sustainable energy, including offering education to people currently working in coal or oil so they can change jobs. There are too many sustainable options available for us to continue with coal and oil. Sorry, billionaires. Maybe try investing in something else.
  6. I believe that women should not be treated as a separate class of human. They should be paid the same as men who do the same work,should have the same rights as men and should be free from abuse. Why on earth shouldn’t they be?

I think that about covers it. Bottom line is that I’m a liberal because I think we should take care of each other. That doesn’t mean you should work 80 hours a week so your lazy neighbor can get all your money. It just means I don’t believe there is any scenario in which preventable suffering is an acceptable outcome as long as money is saved.”

I believe I got everything in there.  Had some issues with the formatting.

So there ya go.  Interestingly Tom got a couple of over-the-top comments along the lines of “what happened to you?” I can say he wasn’t a Hillary supporter in 2016 so I have no idea who he supported.  But ya know:  baby steps right?

Open thread of course.

 

At long last, Widdershins, we will hear Robert Mueller’s words today. Here are some reactions across the mediaverse.

Vox states that Mueller will be asked about Attorney General Barr, and how he handled both the report and the investigation.

Al Franken has 19 choice questions he would ask Mueller. I still can’t believe how he got railroaded out of office. What an effective Senator he was…we miss you Al!

The LA Times thinks Mueller’s testimony should be a call to action for Congress. The twist? It’s not a call to impeach, but a call to legislate against the gross liberties Drumpf has taken with our democratic norms and conventions. That’s a ten-four from me…we need to make sure no one does this again, EVER.

Most people are united in saying that even if Mueller says absolutely nothing beyond what is in the report, he will be extremely impactful to those who haven’t read it.

What do YOU think? This is an open thread.

 

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*** Next Democratic Debate ***

NEXT DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES DEBATE

 

  • What: Round three of the candidates debates
  • When: 12th (and 13th if needed) 2019
  • Where: Houston Tx
  • Network: ABC and Univision
  • Other: Details on the format, venue, moderators and exact timing for the debates will be announced later.

Blog Archive

August 2019
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Kellyanne Conway’s new job

Take the kids to work? NO!

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

“The” Book

Nice picture of our gal

Time till the Grifter in Chief is Gone

Hopefully soonerJanuary 21st, 2021
17 months to go.

Mueller Time!

Wise Words from Paul Ryan

B-I-N-G-O!

Only the *best* politicans bought by the NRA

Marching for their lives

Perfect Picture

Rudy: oh shit the pee tape IS real!

Need Reminders?

Never too early to shop for Christmas

“Look this way”

Manafort’s Jail Photo

Indeed who?

Trump spam

IOW Dumb = Happy?

Simply Put

Ironic

Awrite! Here’s your damned wall

Dems are coming for ya