The Widdershins

Archive for January 2012

It was approximately 50 years ago that John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the Democratic candidate for president of the United States, was forced to appear before a group of Protestant clergy to assure them that should he win that office his loyalty would be to the Constitution and not to the Roman Catholic Church.

This led to his win in the state of West Virginia, a state not known for its love of the papacy, and this victory paved his way to the White House. It was a clear understanding of the need to uphold the separation of church and state.  Amen to that.

Few found issue with Richard Nixon’s upbringing as a Quaker, a religion itself that is far from the mainstream in that it purports to abhor war and the military. Quakers prefer living in peace and essentially have removed themselves from the idea of bombing the hell out of its fellow human beings in order to justify that notion.  That belief alone would make them “suspect” in the eyes of a full blooded Republican voter who believes strongly in military intervention even when the threat is unlikely to occur.  So much for the Iraqi invasion.

However, the very idea that a Mormon practitioner may attain the office of POTUS in 2012 is sending shockwaves throughout the GOP electorate. Set aside the fact that the candidate himself seems devoid of a personality or core beliefs, it is his religion that is threatening to block his ascension. A religion many Christians consider “cultish” may very well be what derails Mitt Romney’s ambitions since what has developed over the past 12 months is a sincere effort to seek another candidate to replace what was once considered his “inevitability”. Even to the point that they would support the likes of Newt Gingrich or even worse, Rick Perry.

Religion as described by the Founding Fathers is a matter of personal choice and should not be interfered with by the government. Believe what you wish and be guaranteed that the government will uphold and protect your right to practice – or not – whatever it is that guides your inner life.

Not so any longer. What you believe – or not – has become the overriding issue in choosing a leader. Not integrity, character, vision, or intelligence. Nowadays it is a “must” that a candidate declare his/her allegiance to a Christian version of god and Mormonism falls short of that expectation. This finds Romney in a tenuous position of courting those Christian Evangelicals who firmly believe that every word in their bible is the word of god and the Book of Mormon is its opposite. Good luck with that Mitt since trying to overcome religious prejudice in this nation is a long haul and probably a useless endeavor on your part.

Somewhere along the way we have allowed this “litmus test” for political service to invade the discourse. In 2008 we watched presidential candidates crawl to the throne of a self styled evangelist begging for benediction by offering their religious views to a national audience. Frankly, who cares?

In seeking competence in a candidate, I am not interested in which superstitious belief triumphs over another. My interest lies in understanding that my choice of candidate lies more in what drives his core principles to serve the greater good than how often he attends Sunday services, or the last time he/she had a conversation with the Lord.  That alone would raise my cynicism to new heights when listening to someone explaining “god’s will” which usually includes heaps of discrimination in place of commonsense.  Casting women, gays, and the poor into the wilderness because of this arbitrary will on behalf of god is a form of mental illness in my view.

I do not like Mitt Romney for many reasons. I think he is a phony, a liar, an arrogant entitled man whose idea of public service is what it can do for him. But his religious beliefs, IMHO, are no different in nature than any other religion that purports to have answers to questions that are based on delusion. False piety does not exactly translate into “do unto others” from where I sit.  But that’s me.

We seem to be looking backward when a person’s religion – or not – is the ultimate deal breaker when it comes to electing pubic officials. Yet we are forced into listening to these sanctimonious, self righteous fools describe their “personal relationship” with an entity that offers little proof of existence. Whatever that is, it is best to keep it to oneself instead of forcing the issue at every turn down the unwilling throats of those who may – or may not – share those same beliefs.

It is a dangerous path we take when religion dominates the dialogue and we leave ourselves vulnerable to the next step on this road to “purity”. It is eventually bound to bring doom to a culture where diversity and freedom of expression has been its foundation from the outset.

One of the most singular amendments of the Founding Fathers was the separation of church and state and we seem to be dismissing it outright.  Once this barrier disappears it is best to be aware that more will follow.

Because as history has shown us, it surely will.

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Supposedly, you can’t compare them.

Lately, you can.  For the purposes of this post, please consider apples to be technologic advances/corporate profits, and oranges to be human beings. 

Witness the elevation of the late Steve Jobs to “jobs creator” by both political parties.  The President not only mentioned him in the SOTU, he actually had seated his widow prominently for all to observe.  Governor Mitch Daniels (R-In) waxed rhapsodically about Jobs’ jobs in the Republican SOTU response.   Both parties missed the point high, wide, and handsome – while Steve Jobs was an absolute genius who authored  one of the most significant chapters in worldwide technology, most related American jobs were long gone.  To China, no less.

In an absolute masterpiece of scheduling, the New York Times published a blistering article regarding the human toll of Apple’s success the morning after SOTU – one that should leave both parties and all Americans with one helluva hangover.  The article pulled no punches regarding the criminal working conditions suffered by Chinese employees of Foxconn – long hours, poor treatment, unsafe conditions, etc.  Here’s a taste:

In the last decade, Apple has become one of the mightiest, richest and most successful companies in the world, in part by mastering global manufacturing. Apple and its high-technology peers — as well as dozens of other American industries — have achieved a pace of innovation nearly unmatched in modern history.

However, the workers assembling iPhones, iPads and other devices often labor in harsh conditions, according to employees inside those plants, worker advocates and documents published by companies themselves. Problems are as varied as onerous work environments and serious — sometimes deadly — safety problems.

Employees work excessive overtime, in some cases seven days a week, and live in crowded dorms. Some say they stand so long that their legs swell until they can hardly walk. Under-age workers have helped build Apple’s products, and the company’s suppliers have improperly disposed of hazardous waste and falsified records, according to company reports and advocacy groups that, within China, are often considered reliable, independent monitors.

The piece goes on to describe a horrendous industrial accident, where a fire caused basically by inadequate ventilation killed and maimed a number of employees.  We have also read recently of conditions so poor that many factories have installed nets to discourage further suicides.  Also, Apple is not alone in these incidents:

Apple is not the only electronics company doing business within a troubling supply system. Bleak working conditions have been documented at factories manufacturing products for Dell, Hewlett-Packard, I.B.M., Lenovo, Motorola, Nokia, Sony, Toshiba and others.

Current and former Apple executives, moreover, say the company has made significant strides in improving factories in recent years. Apple has a supplier code of conduct that details standards on labor issues, safety protections and other topics. The company has mounted a vigorous auditing campaign, and when abuses are discovered, Apple says, corrections are demanded.

And Apple’s annual supplier responsibility reports, in many cases, are the first to report abuses. This month, for the first time, the company released a list identifying many of its suppliers.

Well, I’ve always been told that recognition of a problem is the first step in finding a solution.  Any of us who have worked in any form of bureaucracy are familiar with the humongous number of people who work tirelessly cranking out forms, focus groups, standards and checklists.  Even more employees beaver away at the analysis of the aforementioned information, so as to reformulate and restudy known problems.  As this was hardly the first episode of mayhem in a Chinese factory, I have to wonder how much more analysis will be required for said professionals to realize that they are active participants in an ongoing human rights fiasco?  One would have to be several fries shy of a Happy Meal not to have drawn this conclusion by now.  Exactly how can anyone immunize themself against this sad yet simple fact?  There is only one thing, apparently, that will seize the undivided attention of the electronic Deciders, and that would be a serious dip in sales. 

 This is undoubtedly much easier for me than it is for the most of you.  I have a basic model laptop and an old flip phone cellular on a pay-as-you-go plan commensurate with my less than ten minute actual usage per month.  I do not own a Kindle, a Nook, a tablet (other than the paper variety), or a Smart anything whatsoever, so I can swear off without rumpling my life one iota.  All I ask is that you consider how much you actually need new technology prior to participating in this mess. American jobs will never come back unless we can compete with workers who are compelled to work in dangerous, inhuman conditions. Since that is unlikely to occur, our only affirmative input is that of not purchasing electronic products made in China until they elevate their labor standards.  Will an extra third of a gigabyte or a screen that is half an inch longer really change your life?  If nothing else, we may cut the Chinese workers a break and improve their living and working environments. Come on y’all- be pro-oranges.
This is an open thread.

Good Sunday, Widdershins.  We have made it through another week of cr*p.  My state is absolutely awash in political events that would rival Barnum and Bailey.  Newt is proposing a space colony.  Romney is quoting Castro.  Just another week in the political process, but it’s way too up close and personal. 

The only way to properly celebrate the forthcoming primay (after which things will return to “normal” daily life in South Florida) is to delve into the genre of politicall charged films.  There are a lot of them from which to choose, but I finally whittled my list down to these five:

(1) Advise and Consent  (1962)

(2) All the President’s Men  (1976)

(3) JFK  (1991)

(4) The Candidate (1972)

(5) The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

This is an open thread.

 

Is the “designated hitter” rule applicable to the current state of GOP presidential contenders?

If not there should be since it appears that the current two front runners are not exactly “popular” with the base.

It is so obvious that the primary voters have no special love set aside for Mitt since they have been scrambling for the last few months in search of a replacement. Hell, they were even willing at one time to put all their chips into Herman Cain’s basket if it meant shoving Mittens to the sidelines where he belongs.

Michele enjoyed a moment in the spotlight only to be replaced by Herman who was replaced by Rick Perry who was replaced by the current “darling”, Newt. Ron Paul just rolls along and Rick Santorum raises his pointy head every so often by claiming “victory” as Number 3 on the Hit Parade.

At times desperate messages were sent forth inviting anybody to enter the fray. Hopes were pinned on Governor Haley “let them all go free” Barbour. Then a call out to Mitch Daniels who has had family problems of his own. Word was he did not want to drag his family business into the limelight so I suppose he should be given credit for that much at least. Donald Trump was considered an alternative until he bombed out over the “birther” issue that delivered a blow to his massive ego.

They then attempted to hog tie Chris Christie into running but he declined followed by some efforts by Sarah Palin supporters urging her to throw her wig into the ring, all to no avail. No doubt about it, the “smell of desperation in the morning” was in the air.

“Anybody but Mitt” was the slogan of this campaign. Anybody!

Which may account in large part to the idea of Newt Gingrich being sworn in come January 2013! In a class of shady politicians, Newt is the standout. Which not only strikes fear into the hearts of the GOP party apparatus but for the rest of us as well.  Newt Gingrich?  You have got to be kidding!

Bad as he is, Mitt is a little more acceptable in the long run than Newtie. Possibly for no other reason than that he has remained loyal to his marriage vows. But the “GOP powers that be” must be scratching their heads considering the possibility of having to throw their support behind either one of these two losers and are more than likely running around looking for another “alternative” to what may actually play out in November as an actual landslide should either one of these two actually become the nominee.

Thus the “designated hitter”rule. There must be somebody on the bench that is willing to step to the plate and “take one for the team”.  Somebody other than Newt or Mitt to lead them to “victory” come November.

Somebody?  Anybody?  Hello out there!

Somehow I have failed to mention the fact that the team from my adopted home state, Noo Yawk, has somehow limped its way into the SuperBowl. This was obviously a huge error on my part. Mea culpa!

But seriously….I have no idea how this happened. I truly thought it was not going to be the Giants’ year. The injuries they suffered were debilitating; in one game they had no running backs at all. (That’s why they lost to the Redskins.) Amazingly, hubby had a Miss Cleo moment: He predicted in September that they were going to go to Indianapolis this year. And so they are. Woot Woot!

By contrast, I was pretty sure the Patriots were going to be one of the top two. Tom Brady (whom I call “Ding!” because he looks like a guy in a toothpaste commercial with the sparkle on his teeth) has never looked so focused and determined. He wants it really badly, and what he wants, he usually gets. I have to say, from that first opening drive versus Tim “Help Me Jesus” Tebow’s Broncos, I saw an aura of inevitability around him. He had that ice-cold “Oh yeah? Let me show you what a REAL quarterback can do in the NFL, Tim!” look in his eye. I knew right then a blowout was in the wind. It was just the reality check Tebow deserved. He is a talented young man, no question, but he has some growing up to do. And Tom Brady is already grown.

I will freely admit to Pat and all the other Massachusetts Widdershins, that it will be really, REALLY hard for the Giants to beat the Patriots. It may be impossible. I’m leaning towards a Patriots win, myself. But no matter what happens, it should be a very exciting game indeed!

But till then, I think a drink in honor of Big Blue is in order! So tonight’s drink is a martini made with Blue Curacao– one of my favorite liqueurs.

Wait, what team am I rooting for again?

Blue-on-Blue Martini Recipe

  • 6 parts vodka
  • 1 part blue curacao
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • Cocktail olive

Combine liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker with cracked ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with olive.

What are YOUR plans for the Super Bowl? Do you plan on watching it with friends, with a significant other, with a pet or seven? Will there be copious amounts of mind-altering substances involved? Are you going to actually be there in person? (GASP! Sooooo lucky!!!) Or, are you going to be curling up with a good book (or a Kindle, or an iPad), blissfully ignoring the game – as I would be as well, had I not married a football fan? (Seriously, I used to never watch the Super Bowl. Those were the days! :lol:)

I plan to be cuddled on the sofa with Mr. MB, eating soy cheese pizza and crossing my fingers and toes. And yes, I believe a few drams of The Glenlivet may be consumed. 😉

This is an open thread. (I hope you’ll enjoy tonight’s “music.” I found it hilarious!)

Another week has passed, and with it, another apogee of fundiegelical batshittery has been achieved. Now, it’s difficult to reach those dizzying heights, what with all the pure-d ignorance and outright insanity bombarding our airwaves, but I think this man has done it. Behold the glory of Senator Shortey!

A Republican state senator in Oklahoma has introduced a bill banning aborted human fetuses in food, despite the fact that there are no known foods or food products that actually contain aborted fetuses.

Sen. Ralph Shortey of Oklahoma City introduced on Tuesday Senate Bill 1418, which prohibits “the sale or manufacture of food or products which contain aborted human fetuses.” He says he based the bill on an article he read online about an anti-abortion group boycotting companies that allegedly use embryonic stem cells to research and develop artificial sweeteners.

“People are thinking that this has to do with fetuses being chopped up and put in our burritos,” Shortey told NewsOK. “That’s not the case. It’s beyond that.”

Wait….it’s “BEYOND THAT?!” My ears are all perked up with (admittedly, morbid) curiosity. Win the Future could possibly be beyond chopping up already aborted fetii and using them for Tex-Mex?

“There are companies that are using embryonic stem cells to research and basically cause a chemical reaction to determine whether or not something tastes good or not,” he said. “As a pro-life advocate, it kind of disturbed me that we would use aborted embryos or aborted human fetuses to extract stem cells and use them for research to basically make things taste better.”

I have to wonder what kind of twisted brain comes up with this sh*t. First of all, there is no evidence whatsoever that this happens, so I think we can disregard his explanation as the giant pile of elephant poop it is. No, I believe the true explanation is that these pro-death crazoids are trying to introduce into the American bloodstream yet another poisonous meme: Women not only abort fetuses, which makes them murderers: but they actually do the unthinkable afterwards and EAT THEM. OMG! Demons! Spawn of Satan! Out, out, damned wimminz!

As laughable as this lunacy is, I think we need to address it, because it’s all of a piece with the general theme of the pro-death movement in America: Women Can’t Be Trusted.

Read the rest of this entry »

Every woman knows – or knew – it.

Mittleschmerz is the mid-cycle cramping, perhaps accompanied by nausea, that signals the onset of ovulation.  Mittleschmerz  may occur on either the right or left side, as ovulation is random, or may actually not occur at all.  There are different opinions as to its cause.  The Catholic church is a huge fan of mittleschmerz, as it factors heavily into the rhythm method.  Sadly, the problem with the rhythm method is that some particularly hardy sperm can live up to three days, and are lounging around waiting to fertilize something. Also, not every woman ovulates at precisely the same time every month, so timing the cycle in order to avoid those eight-pound surprises is tough.  Failures of the rhythm method are legendary.

Poor Mitt Romney is experiencing a sort of political mittleschmerz.  His recent campaigning has been just this side of acutely painful.  He has made some utterly revolting gaffes.  I’m certain that his staff is gobbling aspirin and antacids, and may actually be curled up in a ball, sobbing themselves to sleep.  All that they have to do is manage to keep their candidate out of trouble.  The problem is, they never know whether he is going to come down on the right or the left, his timing is terrible, and things that he said three days (or three months or three years) ago are hanging out just waiting to grab him.

We have witnessed the Bain Capital Romney – the steely wealth creator.  He enjoys being able to fire people,  He doesn’t think that >$300,000 is a lot of money.  No wonder he lost the South Carolina primary, where Bain took out some factories and the average income is less than $40,000/year.

He thinks that undocumented immigrants should “self-deport”.  He thinks that foreclosures should just happen, and the market will eventually self-correct.  Welcome to the Sunshine State, Mittster!  We are awash in both undocumented immigrants and foreclosures.  If you are lucky enough not to be in one of the aforementioned groups, you undoubtedly know one or more people who are.  Now he is pandering to the Cubans who are automatically documented upon arrival if they make it to shore, thanks to the ongoing federal mea culpa for the Bay of Pigs fiasco.  Check this out from Outside the Beltway:

People chuckled when presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a Mormon raised in Michigan and elected in Massachusetts, bungled the names of Cuban-American politicians during a recent speech in Miami. But when he mistakenly associated Fidel Castro’s trademark speech-ending slogan — Patria o muerte, venceremos! — with a free Cuba, listeners didn’t laugh. They winced.

Castro has closed his speeches with the phrase — in English, ”Fatherland or death, we shall overcome” — for decades. ”Clearly, that’s something he was ill-advised on or didn’t do his homework on,” said Hialeah City Council President Esteban Bovo. “When you get cute with slogans, you get yourself into a trap.”

OOOPS!  Major screaming oops, actually.  Although the majority of Miami Cubans wouldn’t know Castro if they fell over him, legends (like Marco Rubio’s) run deep.  Oh, well.  Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and the Diaz-Balart brothers (Mario and Lincoln) have endorsed him, and may be able to smooth this out.  While Cuban-American carry a lot of weight, they are mainly in South Florida.  Puerto Ricans are already American citizens, but many of them are Democrats.  Unhappily, he probably took out the rest with the self-deportation plan.

In an absolute masterpiece of bad timing, ol’ Mitt finally got around to releasing two tears’ tax returns (considerably less than the 20+ years that he forked over to John McCain while angling for the VP slot) on the very day that the President addressed wealth inequalities and responsibility during the SOTU.  Mitt’s tax returns prove  that all income is not created equal in the eyes of the IRS and painted the candidate broadly as a baron of finance.  Let’s just say that this candidate has not been the world’s greatest messenger for private equity firms.

 Oddly, the tax forms indicate that the Romney family paid less than $21,000 for domestic help. Maybe the pictures of Mitt and Ann slaving over a hot washing machine are indicative of their daily life, who knows? Read this beauty from The Huffington Post:

WASHINGTON — For a woman with three houses and sixteen grandkids, Ann Romney doesn’t have very much help around the house, according to her 2010 tax return.

IRS forms released Tuesday by Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign show that despite reporting income of $21.7 million, the couple paid only $20,603 in taxable wages for household help in 2010. This figure was divided among four women: Rosania Costa ($4,808), Kelli Harrison ($8,667), Susan Moore ($2,238) and Valerie Cravens Anae ($4,890).

According to a number of Boston-based domestic staffing agencies, the salary range for a housekeeper is between $20 and $30 an hour, which adds up to an annual salary of $40,000 to $50,000 based on forty-hour weeks and two weeks of paid vacation. (Italics mine.)

I just can’t wait for Tuesday’s primary.  More than $18 million has been spent on advertising to date, and I’m certain that the next six days will bring a blitz of negative our way.  In the interim, I’m pretty certain that Mitt’s staff is reassuring themselves that they should remain calm -all is well.

This is an open thread.


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Blog Archive

January 2012
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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
2.1 years 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

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