The Widdershins

Good Weekend Widdershins!

 

Yes, yes it’s a busy time for a number of us here at T.W. And for at least four of us it probably involves trucks and relocations.  So here’s a brand new, fresh post to “talk amongst yourselves”.  Lordy knows there’s plenty to talk about:

  • North Korea and Kim Jong-Un playing tRump for the fool he is
  • tRump’s expense report that showed payments to Michael Cohen
  • The quid pro and definitely quo of the Chinese ZTE “flip-flop”
  • The new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and the violence in Gaza
  • Meghan and Harry
  • Whatever else you can think of

So tawk amongst yourselves.  You know you want to, amirite?

 

 

Okay I wanted the Coffee Talk with Madonna for DYB, but we have to take Roseanne too.  Sorreee!

 

 

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Too much news

Posted on: May 17, 2018

breaking-news.jpg

May 16 may have been one of the nuttier news days of the Dump administration. It was like the evening news dump, but all day long. And I was working with my boss in the room, so didn’t have much time to see it or absorb it until I got home. So this is an attempt to summarize some of the biggest developments – for my own sake and everyone else’s.

Dump called immigrants “animals.”

“You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals.”

This is deep and dark, and an escalation of his own rhetoric attacking immigrants. Such dehumanization of a group of people (and you know Trump is not talking about Swedes) has a long and terrible history. Nazis called Jews “vermin” and the Tutsi in Rwanda were called “cockroaches” before they were mass murdered. What is also concerning is that apparently none of the evening news shows discussed this statement by Trump. Because of everything else happening a statement this alarming didn’t even warrant coverage.

Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti has been teasing and baiting Cohen for days with seemingly deep knowledge about his money dealings and the question has been what does Avenatti know and how does he know it. New Yorker provided the answer that the whistleblower leaked the info out of concern after seeing that a government database was missing some records and this person feared a cover-up in progress.

The documents this law enforcement official allegedly could not find are not easily misplaced bureaucratic paperwork. Suspicious activity reports, or SARs, are reports that banks and other financial institutions file if they have an inkling that someone might be engaging in money laundering or another illicit activity. They are filed with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which maintains a database for government and law enforcement officials. A suspicious activity report is not proof of any crime, just a red flag, and can help authorities establish patterns.

This sounds suspicious indeed but – let’s not overreact just yet. A few respectable people on twitter – Benjamin Wittes of Lawfare blog and former FBI agent Asha Rangappa argued that a) the documents “disappearing” can be for legitimate reasons (removed because of a secret investigation, for example) and b) even if the documents are missing, those are not the only copies. The banks that filed the SARs will have their own records, and there are records of the original transactions as well. So in order to successfully erase Cohen’s activities there are many databases that have to be erased. So if there is anything of interest, Mueller either already has it or can get it from the banks. (Probably already has it.)

There was also the the NY Times non-apology buried in the middle of a long article about their infamous story clearing Trump of any wrongdoing just before the election. We all knew the story was a lie when the Times Lichtlbau Timespublished it. And more importantly, they knew it was nonsense. They interviewed Harry Reid for the story – and then threw out his entire interview, choosing to clear Trump right there in the headline. While openly blasting and speculating about emails on the front page. In their non-apology they blamed the FBI for misleading them. I have no doubt their sources in the FBI misled them, but they had other sources of correct information, which they chose to ignore. I won’t get into the rehash of all that again, it makes my blood boil. But it’s worth noting that more than 18 months after the story was published and executive editor Dean Baquet has been defending it the whole time – they finally acknowledge that they did it wrong. And they accepted no responsibility for doing it wrong. They blamed the FBI. So after all this, fuck you NY Times and Dean Baquet. (BTW, the article itself reinforces the fact that Comey and FBI ratfucked us all by blasting Hillary’s emails and hiding the Trump investigation. They watched as Trump colluded with the Russians to throw an election and did nothing to stop it. Curses on Comey and whoever else in the FBI (yes, including Wray) did this. May they burn in hell.)

The Senate released transcript of Junior’s – and others’ – testimonies and they’re a doozy. Junior is a moron and everything he says reinforces the fact that they met with the Russians to get dirt on Hillary. And instead got an earful on the Magnitsky act. Apparently Kushypoop was livid at lack of dirt offered in the meeting, per testimony of Rob Goldstone:

After a few minutes of this labored presentation, Jared Kushner, who is sitting next to me, appeared somewhat agitated by this and said, I really have no idea what you’re talking about. Could you please focus a bit more and maybe just start again?” Goldstone recalled of the meeting according to hearing transcripts released by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. “And I recall that she began the presentation exactly where she had begun it last time, almost word for word, which seemed, by his body language, to infuriate him even more.

Kushner presented a completely different picture of the meeting, of course; one where he was barely paying attention and left early. Sure Kushypoop, sure.

One really fascinating tidbit from Junior’s testimony are mysterious phone calls he made, but says does not remember. Daily Beast summarizes the events nicely and here’s a timeline I compiled from their article:

  • June 6, 2016 Rob Goldstone emails Don Junior with an offer “to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary” via well-connected Russian lawyer and Junior should talk to music producer Emin Agalarov to schedule an appointment.
  • Minutes after speaking to Agalarov, Junior places a 4-minute call to a blocked number.
  • Minutes after that, Junior calls Agalarov again and sets up the meeting for June 9.
  • Junior immediately places an 11-minute call to a blocked number.
  • June 8, 2016 Donald Trump says at a rally that the following week he will give a “major speech” where “we’re going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons.”
  • June 9, 2016 Junior, Manafort and Kushner meet with Veselnitskaya and others where Junior asks Veselnitskaya: “So can you show us how does this money go to Hillary?” And when she drones on about Magnitsky Act, Kushner gets angry.
  • After the meeting ended, Junior placed a 3-minute call to a blocked number.
  • Trump’s speech on the Clintons never happened.
  • Junior says he does not remember who he called on any of those occasions.
  • Corey Lewandowski has said that at the time of these meetings Donald Trump used a blocked phone number at his home.

This is an open thread.

 

Photo courtesy of CNN

Yes, Widdershins, I’m wading into I/P again. I can’t help it – what’s going on in the Middle East is so appalling and wrong, and since the Republican Party is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Russia, they’re all going along with it and letting the madness continue. It’s just insane that this oversized orange rhino is galumphing all over the world with his big giant feet, destroying everything he touches…and not a single peep from Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell! Do they not get that our enemies have nukes?! Christ on a cracker, as our beloved Chatblu used to say!

Now let me be clear: I completely believe Israel is as lawful a country as all the other countries in the world, and it was established with much more care, much more reason, and much less violence. (See: Native Americans and White Europeans Who Stole Their Country, 17th century to present.) The difference in the perception of Israel is, of course, that Israel is mostly Jewish. And the world, especially the white, European 1% who run it, doesn’t like us much. (See: Holocaust, The.) I also believe there is no such thing as a Palestinian. It’s a made-up word for a hodgepodge of people from the surrounding Arab countries who exited Israel after the Zionists bought it and moved in, during the war that followed. And yes, I say “exited” because, contrary to 70 years of propaganda, they weren’t all kicked out. I was surprised to see CNN’s story actually state this, instead of lazily repeating the usual bullsh*t. Here is another good story on the four sticking points causing the unending conflict…sadly, not much has changed since 2002.

Another point of disagreement: Israel is not “occupying” anything. Israel has as much right to Israel, including Jerusalem, as any of the random Jordanians, Lebanese, Egyptians, etc. who claim it. The very premise that this group is “right” and the Israelis are “wrong” is beyond absurd. Israel’s history (thousands of years of continuous living in the area), as well as the Balfour Declaration, proves the Jewish claim to the homeland. And besides, after the Holocaust, European Jews were rejected all over the world. No one wanted us. Israel was the only safe haven we had, and after what we had suffered at the hands of white Europeans, our survival depended on establishing that haven.

That being said…

The Mango Moron’s idea to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem was a truly terrible one, guaranteed to produce this result. I am quite sure that evangelicals, being prompted by Putin and Netanyahu behind the scenes, convinced Drumpf to do this to bring on the End Times. And while I don’t agree with the protesters, I do fervently support their right to protest, peacefully, and not get killed. Even if some threw rocks and burned tires, did the IDF really need to use live ammunition?! The barbarism of Bibi’s army is appalling.

Here in America, when we protest, we know that, while we may be arrested and/or tear gassed in some extreme cases, we won’t pay for our beliefs with our lives. At the Women’s March, the most that happened was some dyspepsia over the 12 idiotic pro-deathers who tried to make themselves relevant by standing at the end of Pennsylvania Avenue, forlornly draped in black. There was no military presence, no insistence that we not walk right in front of the President’s house and give him the collective middle finger. The First Amendment, protecting the freedom of speech and the right to peaceful assembly, is one of the many things that actually make this country great.

I know the two cases aren’t exactly similar. The protesters do not have to try to cross the border into Israel, or even come close enough to it to be fired upon. But their beliefs are strong, and they are brave, and they are willing to die for their right to express themselves. The cost of protest is high in the Middle East, and I applaud the courage of those who are willing to pay it.

I truly believe that nothing will improve in this troubled region until ignorant, hateful “leaders” like Mahmoud Abbas, Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump are removed from the world stage and put in the Hague where they belong. Perhaps then, like our wonderful American kids who are leading the #NeverAgain movement, young partners for peace will find their voices, and create a new, unified Middle East where all the bloodshed and hatred will be a distant memory.

Ken y’hi ratson. So may it be.

This is an open thread.

 

Good Weekend Widdershins!

Time for some strange, funny, or odd  news.  While the vulgar yam, lawyers, porn stars or anything related to them is not in this post I know y’all are gonna talk about ’em.  But we’ll have a respite for the amount of time it takes to read this.  And away we go…

It’s made in Jersey so you know Chris Christie will love it

And besides, it has ham in it.  So what is it that has ham and also has French toast in it?  Why it’s ice cream!

A New Jersey ice cream company announced the first in its line of “Only in Jersey” flavors — French toast and pork roll.

Windy Brow Farms announced the first of its “Only in Jersey” line of flavors contains actual caramelized Taylor ham and challah French toast.

“Doesn’t get much more Jersey than this!” the company said on Twitter.

Jake Hunt, managing partner of Windy Brow Farms, told NJ.com he determined that pork roll-only ice cream would be “gross,” so he combined it with French toast and maple flavors to make a “really good balance of super sweet and super salty.”

I’ll just have to take your word on it Jake because I definitely will not be sampling any of that.

Look at the pretty kittehs

Looking would have been fine (y’all have probably read about this) but just don’t try to rescue these kittens.

Animal authorities in Texas said three people are recovering from bites after a woman brought home a pair of “kittens” that turned out to be bobcats.

Officials said a resident found the small animals Saturday and thought they were Bengal cat kittens. She took them home, where she and some visiting friends from Austin attempted to bottle-feed them.

The group’s suspicions were raised when the kittens’ aggressive feeding style shredded the plastic bottles and left the three people attempting to feed them with bite wounds.

Yeah blame it on those hipsters from Austin, uh-huh.

Okay so maybe this is kind of Trumpian

This guy in Wisconsin likes McDonald’s burgers a lot, especially Big Macs.  In fact he has now eaten his thirty-thousandth Big Mac.   Okay so tRump likes the quarter pounder instead, big deal.

Don Gorske a 64-year-old retired prison guard from Wisconsin, ate his 30,000th Big Mac at his local McDonald’s in Fond du Lac, Wis.

“This one is a biggie for me, something I have been looking forward to,” Gorske told the Fond du Lac Reporter.

Gorske said he has been eating Big Macs everyday since 1972 and broke the word record in 2016 when he ate his 28,788th burger.

“I love the patties, I love the sauce, I can’t get enough of it,” Gorske told the New York Post.

Gorske said there have been only eight days where he hasn’t eaten a Big Mac since 1972 and his mission hasn’t had any ill effects on his health.

“I’m healthy as a horse. I weigh 190 pounds, and my cholesterol is 165,” he said. “I’m better than normal.”

And from his local paper in Fond du Lac:

The Big Mac maniac gave a half-hour presentation to the crowd, which gathered to watch him take that first bite of the 30,000th all-beef patty, with special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame-seed bun. He showed off his record books and how he keeps track of thousands of receipts, sandwich wrappers and containers

and

Gorske has obsessive compulsive disorder and a meticulous memory, which lends to his Big Mac habit and his penchant for details.

Well I hope to hell I never develop O.C.D. if it leads to a desire for eating Big Macs.  But perhaps that explains tRump’s penchant for the Quarter Pounder?

 

I don’t think this is the way to pass this test

Yes I’m sure it had to be warm, but no darling, you can’t nuke it.  I’m just gonna paste the entire thing in here:

A Colorado woman has been cited by police after a container of what appeared to be urine blew up as she was heating it up in a microwave at a 7-Eleven.

Police say the incident occurred in the convenience store chain’s Aurora location last week when the clerk heard a loud bang and saw 26-year-old Angelique Sanchez take a white plastic bottle out of the microwave.

A police report says when confronted by the clerk, Sanchez wiped a yellow liquid that smelled like urine onto the floor and walked out.

Police located Sanchez at a nearby clinic where she had planned to take a urinalysis test for a potential employer.

The Denver woman was issued a summons for damaged property. She could not be reached for comment.

Uh, no hon, that wasn’t gonna work.  But still I wonder what, if anything, the lab result would have shown.

* * * *

I have a couple of youtube clips for ya.  The first one is of an Airbus A380 behaving badly fighting a cross wind in a landing.  If something this big gets bounced around like this I’m just glad I wasn’t onboard.  (watch the tail rudder as it descends and lands)

 

* * * *

 

For those of you who may not have been around when I used this before, this next video is with Sister Unity Divine of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence-Los Angeles chapter.  Here Sister Unity deconstructs the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood and:
The Classic Grimm’s Fairy tale told by Sister Unity in one of her post-modern deconstructionist moods. Feminist overtones with a deep examination of gender roles, gender archetypes, gender symbols, hegemony roles, forests and baskets. 

* * * *

Okay that’s all I have.  Open thread of course.

 

 

 

 

I stumbled across this interesting thread by a Korean American, and all I could think was, “No, not really, not my experience at all.”

T.K. of AAK! ‏ @AskAKorean May 11

As a formerly non-English speaking immigrant, here is a story I cherish.

It’s 1997. I just moved from Korea to Los Angeles area. I took regular English courses in Korea, and that was good enough to get me out of ESL classes and into the regular 10th grade classes.

It was my second day at the biology class. There was a quiz. My bio teacher, Ms. Gallagher, told me I didn’t have to worry about the quiz since I just got to the class, but gave me the quiz sheet anyway.

This is more than 20 years ago, but I still very clearly remember every detail of that quiz sheet. The quiz was about photosynthesis. It had a diagram of a leaf, and I was supposed to write what kind of gas comes to the leaf, what is expelled, etc.

I remember staring at it for about five minutes, slowly getting angry with frustration. I was mad because the quiz was easy. I learned about photosynthesis in Korea as a 7th grade. I knew all the answers. Just not in English.

The quiz was my new reality. I hope you all have a chance to experience this: the experience of suddenly becoming stupid, suddenly having all of your knowledge turning into dust, useless and inaccessible in a new environment with new language.

After five minutes, I just decided to write in the quiz in Korean. It didn’t matter that Ms. Gallagher told me the quiz wouldn’t count; I wasn’t going to turn in a blank quiz sheet. I just had to prove to myself that I didn’t suddenly become stupid.

Two days later, Ms. Gallagher handed out the graded quiz. Then she announced to the class: “[TK] has the highest grade. He had the perfect score.”

What – I looked at my quiz sheet. She graded my quiz in Korean, and gave me all the check marks.

I asked Ms. Gallagher (somehow) how she managed to grade my paper. Turned out Ms. Gallagher took my quiz to a Korean Am math teacher at my school. The math teacher’s Korean wasn’t great either, but she looked up the dictionary to help my bio teacher grade my quiz.

I get more emotional each time I think about this. Because the older I get, the more I realize what an extraordinary step Ms. Gallagher took for the sake of her student. She already told me the quiz wouldn’t count. She didn’t have to go through the trouble of grading my quiz.

But Ms. Gallagher graded my quiz. I truly believe that moment changed the trajectory of my immigrant life in the United States. Thanks to my teacher, I was able to prove to myself that I didn’t suddenly turn stupid. I just had to learn the new language.

So I did. I learned English, I studied hard, and graduated second of my class. My graduation speech was like a scene out of Napoleon Dynamite–it was so rambling and so terrible and so accented, my classmates were so confused. They were kind enough not to boo me off the stage.

I moved onto a good college, then a good law school. Now I’m a lawyer and writer who engages the world via my writing. I’ve had writing professors telling me they use my English writing as a model for their students. That blows my mind every time I hear it.

So. Every time a fuckshit like John Kelly talks about non-English speaking immigrants not assimilating to America, I think back to Ms. Gallagher. I remind myself that America has way more Ms. Gallaghers than John Kellys.

Remember: nearly all Americans came from somewhere else. More Americans are coming from abroad as we speak. So if you’re born and raised in America, I hope you would be kind and patient with the new arrivals. I hope you would be the Ms. Gallagher to someone else. /end

Now, when I say “not my experience” I don’t mean the part about kindly people helping me feel confident. There were enough of those, thank God, to keep me going.

What I mean is the part about suddenly feeling stupid. I learned English as a very small toddler, then a third language when I was about eight, another three as a young adult. I’m kind of absorbing bits of Spanish because of living in SoCal. And even when I landed in a foreign country going to school in a paramedical subject, I never actually had a feeling ignorance.

(But if you want to talk about learning calculus and that foreign language, God yes, deer in the headlights. Until I finally realized, years too late, that hey, that’s really just another language. I know how to do this.)

All this made me think that maybe the biggest benefit of bilingualism on the developing mind is that it makes ignorance feel familiar. It’s not frightening. You learn that all you need to do is learn your way out of it. Which is also the conclusion TK comes to: “I didn’t suddenly turn stupid. I just had to learn the new language.”

How do all of you feel about that? Is a background of getting plopped into new environments or new languages as a child helpful? Or maybe just isolating for some of us? How about learning to feel okay with ignorance? Which, I guess, phrased another way, is a question about whether learning is fun or whether it’s work.

Anyway. Have at it. It’s Saturday. We can do whatever we want!

Stanislawa-Leszczynska-E.jpeg

The histories of World War II and the Holocaust can never be told fully. Too many people did too many things – both good and evil – to give a full accounting. But there are stories that have been documented now for decades, and are still being documented by the Holocaust Museums around the world and by the Shoah Foundation. There are famous stories, like that of Oskar Schindler. And there are some that are all but forgotten. One person whose story is little known outside of her native Poland is Stanisława Leszczyńska.

Born in Łódź, Poland in 1896, Stanisława (maiden name Zambrzycki) lived like everyone else. She married, she studied to become a midwife, and she had children. Then, in 1939, Nazis invaded Poland. The city of Łódź had the second largest population of Jews in Poland. Nazis turned Łódź into one of its most infamous ghettos. Stanisława, her husband Bronisław, and their four children (Bronisław, Sylwia, Stanisław, and Henryk) were so appalled by what they saw around them that they began helping the Jews in the ghetto by delivering food and false documents. On February 18, 1943 Stanisława was captured by the Gestapo while making a delivery. Her husband and eldest son managed to escape; but her youngest 3 children were also arrested. The two boys were sent to perform slave labor in the Mauthausen concentration camp. Her husband Bronisław was killed during the Warsaw uprising in 1944; they never saw each other again. Stanisława and Sylwia (aged 24) were sent to Auschwitz on April 17, 1943, and tattooed with the camp numbers 41335 and 41336 respectively.

Because Stanisława had been a midwife and Sylwia studied to be a nurse they were sent to work in the “maternity ward” of the camp. The ward was run by “Sister Klara,” a midwife who had been sent to the camp for infanticide. Sister Klara – and her assistant Sister Pfani – was in charge of declaring children born – and then drowning them. They did not assist in the birth of the children; they only killed them. Stanisława was also told to kill the babies. She refused. For reasons that are unclear, she was not punished for refusing. She was even ordered by Josef Mengele himself to kill newborn babies and she refused again.

“Why they did not kill her then, no one knows,” said Leszczyńska’s son Bronisław in 1988.

So despite threats and beatings from Sister Klara, Stanisława and Sylwia helped the pregnant women give birth and provided as much comfort as they could, for as long as they could. Most babies were murdered almost immediately by Klara and Pfani. Some mothers killed the babies themselves. But mother and daughter continued to help, baptizing Christian babies, helping new mothers breastfeed until the child was taken away.  The women in the barracks called Stanisława “Mother.”

Starting in 1943 some babies were given to German mothers to be raised as Aryans. In Poland alone nearly 100,000 babies were taken this way. In Auschwitz, Stanisława and Sylwia tattooed the babies that were taken in the hopes that some day they may be reunited with their mothers. It’s unclear how many, if any, were.

Of the 3,000 babies delivered by Leszczyńska, medical historians Susan Benedict and Linda Sheilds write that half of them were drowned, another 1,000 died quickly of starvation or cold, 500 were sent to other families and 30 survived the camp. It is believed that all of the mothers and all of the newborns survived childbirth.

Stanisława and all of her children survived the war, and all became doctors. Stanisława retired in 1957.

On January 27, 1970 Stanisława attended an official celebration in Warsaw, where she met the women prisoners of Auschwitz and their grown-up children who had been born in the camp. She died on March 11, 1974 at the age of 77.

“To this day I do not know at what price [she delivered my baby],” said Maria Saloman, whose baby Leszczyńska delivered. “My Liz owes her life to Stanisława Leszczyńska. I cannot think of her without tears coming to my eyes.”

Stanisława has been nominated to be canonized by the Catholic Church. The main road of Auschwitz is named after her. So is a street in the city of Łódź, as well as several hospitals across Europe.

This is an open thread.

Actually, let’s not. You all know me already, and being up here through the kindness of MadamaB and Fredster and DYB doesn’t change anything. Besides, I’m not fit to be introduced today. I managed to get a cold and I’m just a snuffly wheezy mass of grumpiness.

So it occurred to me as I was lying awake at 3AM with my misbehaving nose, that Kanye West has a point. Yes, that Kanye and his shall we say ahistorical take on slavery.

My first thought, like everyone else’s, could be summarized by this New Yorker cartoon:
Two ducks are floating amongst the reeds, and the one duck is saying to the other duck, 'Maybe you should ask yourself why you're inviting all this duckhunting into your life right now.'

But my second thought was that he has a point. Blaming the victim and not even seeing the perp certainly helps the perp.

Unfortunately, I think he’s having too much fun being macho to get it. He was bemoaning the downer of having Harriet Tubman on twenties. Michael Jordan (who has obviously accomplished a whole lot more?) would have been a better choice he said.

And on that note, I think I’ll see whether I can get back to sleep.

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Kellyanne Conway’s new job

Take the kids to work? NO!

So similar

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
2.7 years to go.

Mueller Time!

Wise Words from Paul Ryan

Heroine of the Resistance

B-I-N-G-O!

Only the *best* politicans bought by the NRA

Marching for their lives

Perfect Picture

Perfect Name For Him h/t Daily News

Scary a.f.

Rudy: oh shit the pee tape IS real!

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