The Widdershins

Archive for December 2014

Happy New Year 2015

Happy New Year’s to all of the Widdershins and friends   Here’s hoping your New Year’s Eve will be happy, fun and safe.

Enjoy the fireworks gif below.

animated fireworks-o

And once again, don’t have too much of that buck25 vodka!  😉

Whoa!black-line divider-no-background-thOh good, everyone is occupied today.  So this is a good time for me to go ahead and announce that this will be my last post for The Widdershins.  Real life issues have come up and I have to say they must take precedence right now.  Writing posts was extremely hard for me to do.  It took..well, takes a lot of time for me; several hours actually to compose, proof and correct a post.  It was something that I wanted to try and I’m grateful that  our madamab gave me the opportunity to try my hand at it.  Also, I hope she’ll still let me come by to make a comment and not ban me totally for having to step away from writing posts.  Anyway, it has been fun, a learning experience and I’ve “met” a great group of folks here.

Best wishes for the New Year!  Fred

Good afternoon Widdershins. I trust your Christmas holiday was a good one with a minimum of coal-loaded stockings and an abundance of good cheer among family and friends. That’s the way it should be.

With 2014 coming to a close, I hope you find it appropriate to look at the year in review. In other words, look at the 2014 black and white collagezeitgeist of 2014 with the benefit of a modicum of distance. For a day-by-day breakdown of the events that made 2014 the year that it was, you can check here, a CNN year-end recapitulation of events and happenings that dominated the news.

January 1st 2014 heralded the effective date of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. So far, costs have stabilized, millions have experienced health care for the first time, it is less expensive than first estimated, and we are still awaiting the end of civilization as we know it.

At the end of January, we learned about the deplorable state of affairs in some VA hospitals. Veterans died awaiting care and the problems were discovered to be systemic dating back almost a decade courtesy of the unprecedented increase of wounded from two decades long wars. After six months of political wrangling, a new act was signed into law on August 7th providing $16 billion in new money to build more VA facilities and hire more medical personnel.

Beginning in April, we saw the first of a series of botched executions in various states. Our collective response was a gaping “yawn”.

Bowe Bergdahl was released in late May from five years of captivity by a group linked to the Taliban in exchange for five Guantanamo detainees. Instead of being seen as resounding good news, the reaction was surprisingly mixed from the political types — any teevee airtime is good teevee airtime.

On June 30th, President Obama began his six months of foreplay on the immigration quagmire culminating after the midterm elections with an announcement of finally addressing a weigh point for about five of the eleven million undocumented immigrants living in the country. It’s a start.

Also on June 30th, the Supreme Court in tortured logic, ruled that some companies can refuse insurance coverage for contraceptives based upon legally unquestioned religious objections. Another victory for crusty old white guys making decisions about what happens in bedrooms.

On July 17th, Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, dies after a white police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, puts him in a chokehold. A death that is caught on video. Garner’s death is later ruled a homicide by the New York medical examiner.

August 2nd saw the arrival of the first Ebola patent. Dr. Kent Brantly came back to the U.S. for treatment at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Dr. Brantly was the first of the brave medical workers who volunteered to serve the poor in west African nations suffering from an uncontrolled outbreak of the disease. Dr. Brantly’s arrival heralded a new-found medical expertise in the political know-nothings who currently populate Congress.

On August 9th, eighteen-year old, unarmed Michael Brown was shot in Ferguson, Missouri. His body was left to lay in the street for 4 hours and it was left to his mother — his mother — to finally cover his body with a blanket she retrieved from her home. Days of unrest followed.

2014 review magnifying glassOn October 16th, in a show in Philadelphia, comedian Hannibal Buress criticized Bill Cosby and his “smuggest old black man persona,” and says, “Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches.” More than 20 women have come forward — many for the second time before anyone paid attention to the claims against the good Dr. Huxtable. Cosby has not been charged with a crime.

November brought the midterm elections and the Republican party won a majority of seats in the House and the Senate to take control of Congress.

Between November 24th and December 3rd, two grand juries, one in Ferguson, Missouri, the other in Staten Island, refused to indict either police officer in the deaths of Michael Brown or Eric Garner. More unrest followed.

After five years of review and political hand-to-hand combat, on December 9th the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report on the CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” in the post-911 era. By using CIA documents and memoranda, it reveals the CIA tortured detainees.

Throughout the year, ISIS appalled civilization with the video beheadings of captured hostages.

Let’s connect a few dots in this matrix.

When it comes to the epidemic of young men of color being killed in our streets by agents of the government, we have repeatedly seen those who are asked to be accountable for the actions suddenly cloak themselves in victimhood and remarkably the dead victims were held accountable for their own deaths.

Two shameless, self-promoting prosecutors, who through their political cowardice failed to do their sworn duty, set back race relations to somewhere just beyond the era of Bull Connor.

It was a year where the ravages of Ebola were covered on the pages of newspapers where car ads dwarfed any mention of the gruesome nature of the disease until a volunteer health care worker came home ill. Only then did we care enough to understand the harsh realities facing thousands in west Africa.

2014 was another year in the march toward nihilism where fact isn’t fact unless it is exactly what you believe it should be, 2014 horizonwhere science isn’t science unless it supports a preconceived notion, and where opinion substitutes for truth.

It was a year where both political parties have learned the lesson that political sabotage works. It was a year where doing nothing in the face of lingering political and economic problems can pay dividends at the ballot box. It was a year where political gridlock became an art form.

For me, the most troubling connection between events and response is the collective “yawn” we exhibited when it came to our previously held ethics. Whether it be the botched ritualized killing of capital punishment, young men being killed in our streets, the ISIS beheadings, or the systematic torture of detainees many of whom were there by virtue of mistaken identity, it seems 2014 was a year when our collective morality gene went dormant. Many politicians struggled to rationalize their indifference, but in the long run the indifference may prove to be the greater struggle.

For me, 2014 was a year where the collective zeitgeist was one of profound indifference to what had been heretofore a well-settled morality. What we may find is that overcoming the evil from which this indifference sprouts may not be as difficult as eradicating the indifference itself.

What are your takeaways from 2014? Feel free to steer the conversation in any direction.

Merry Christmas, Widdershins,  I’m not even going to try to write today.  Instead, I’m starting a mixed media playlist of favorite songs and movies of the season. My list is essentially music, as the season is full of beautiful pieces from all times, countries, and genre.  However, today there are no limitations – if it says “Christmas” to you, post it here and share with the group.   We’ll spend today, warm and safe, healing from a long and difficult year. Merry Christmas to all who pass this way – y’all mean a great deal to me.

(1) Mary’s Boy Child – Harry Belafonte

(2) The Huron Carol = Trad. Canadian

(3) Baloo, Lammy – Scottish Traditional Carol

(4) The Wexford Carol – Irish Traditional, performed by Allison Krauss

(5) Children, Go Where I Send Thee – American Southern Gospel, Trad.

(6) In Dulce Jubilo – Trad. Catholic

Christmas village image

Merry Christmas Widdershins! I hope yours will be happy, safe and everything you want it to be.

Enjoy the fireplace and fire:


Oh…and don’t drink too much of this:


A belated happy Christmas Eve eve Widdershins.

So sorry to be posting so late, but some unexpected travel today to gather folks in for the holiday interrupted my ability to publish something in a more timely fashion.

Given that it’s the eve of my regular shopping day, I am hoping everyone is as much of a procrastinator as I am.  In that case, you didn’t miss the post at all and we can just call this “timeliness challenged.”

It is my sincere wish you have a glorious holiday in the glow and warm embrace of family and friends.

In the event you might have missed this, I wish the happiness captured in this video for you, yours, ours, and their’s.

Happy Holidays!


Good Monday, Widdershins! It’s quiet around here as we all get ready for the holidays in our own special ways.

What I like to do best, is spend as much time with family and friends as possible. I also often pick one or two charities to which I donate. And, there’s usually some singing of Christmas carols involved as well.

How do you spend your holidays? Do you light candles and eat latkes? Do you watch “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “The Sound of Music” or “A Christmas Story?”

Share your holiday strategies in the comments. This is an open thread.


wacko criminal lineup

Good Saturday and weekend to you Widdershins.  As a break from the holiday rush, let’s take a look at some of the odd, funny or unusual things I’ve found on the internets and I’ll throw in a few youtubes that I thought were cute.

Some people are amazing

And I don’t mean that in a good way in this case.  So Anthony Ballard decided to go into the Treasure Coast Lawn Equipment store and asked for a dollar’s worth of change.  The article doesn’t say he asked for change for a dollar, just that he asked for a dollar’s worth of change.  Anyway, while he was in there he decided to stick a chainsaw down his pants   😯  The article says the $600 Stihl chainsaw was not running at the time.

The accused chainsaw crook came in Treasure Coast Lawn Equipment in the 1800 block of Southwest Bayshore Boulevard and reportedly asked for $1 worth of change, according to a police report.

He picked up a Stihl chainsaw valued at more than $600 and left, riding away on a bicycle.

Surveillance video shows him calmly stuff the saw down his shorts and cover it with his shirt.

The saw does not appear to be running at the time.

So Anthony takes off on his bicycle and then ditched the chainsaw in the woods.  Employees chased Anthony but couldn’t catch him and they then called 911.  The chainsaw was recovered but the police couldn’t find Bullard.  Later, the employees saw Bullard looking for the chainsaw so they called the police and he was caught.

When police apprehended Ballard, he said he stole the saw and put it in the woods.

“He later had a change of heart so decided to go get the saw and return it to the store,” a report states.

And here is Anthony taking the chainsaw.

You can’t fix stupid

Chad Lieberman had a great deal on his New York apartment.  You see, Chad inherited his grandfather’s sweet $100-a-month rent deal on a four-bedroom Upper East Side apartment.  Now I’m no specialist on New York apartments, but four bedrooms…$100 a month seems pretty good to me.  But Chad was unhappy.  You see, grandpa’s deal for the hundred dollars a month rent was because he had struck a deal with some developers to put up a 25 story building next door and it blocked some of the air and light.  Grandpa figured it was worth it to give up some light for four bedrooms.  However, Chad though differently.

After his grandfather’s death, Lieberman continued to enjoy the benefits of the massive, rent-controlled space, but didn’t want to live with its drawbacks. He sued, claiming his grandfather’s agreement was illegal, and the 246-unit building next door was thus illegally depriving him of the enjoyment of his 8-room palace.

Lieberman, who moved in with his grandfather in 2009, and stayed in the apartment after he passed away last year, demanded it be restored to its former condition by eliminating the neighboring building.  [Sure Chad, no problem there]

A judge threw the request out, finding that Lieberman had no standing to sue, as the deal was between the building owner and his grandpa, who knew exactly what he was doing. Even worse for Lieberman—but great for anyone who pays $3,000 for a studio and loves schadenfreude—the lawsuit backfired by reminding the landlord that the rent-control part of the deal also only applied to his grandfather.

You see what I mean about that stupid stuff?

Here’s kind of a fun one

Go here and take this test.  See what kind of job you would have had in the Fabulous Fifties!

So was Brother Bluto here?

I don’t really even want to go here but…so there was a fire in attic of a frat house at the University of Houston.  And frat bros being frat bros, they just did what came naturally to them.

A heater started an electrical fire last night in the Kappa Alpha attic at the University of Houston, and even a trash can full of bathroom water couldn’t stop it. So one brave brother sprung into action and whipped out his hose. Surprisingly, his urine was unable to quell the flames, which were later extinguished by professional firefighters.

“We saw, like, a fire in the attic and stuff and like smoke was coming out. We were just like, ‘What are we supposed to do with this fire?’ and we all just took off,” first reponder (urine division) Dylan Koops told KHOU, “I p****d on it, but nothing was working.”

Dylan, like, I hope, like, you’re not like a language major or something like that.

Some youtubes

This little English bulldog pup just loves his new memory foam bed.  Can’t blame him!

So I wonder if this bear cub was looking for a Christmas card?

Poor kitteh here must have just felt trapped by this big ole Rottie.

Okay Widdershins, that’s all I have for today.  It’s an open thread and if anyone is around this weekend right before Christmas, just comment away on anything your heart desires.



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Blog Archive

December 2014

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
7 months to go.

Mueller Time!

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


Dems are coming for ya