The Widdershins

Tuesday “stuff”

Posted on: December 29, 2015

Not with temps in the 70s!

Not with temps in the 70s!

Good Tuesday to you Widdershins!

Madamab is still in holiday/travel mode, dear chat is still having arm issues and I believe our loquacious Prolix has come down with some seasonal maladies.  So, that leaves yours truly to come up with something that will:  entertain you, enlighten you or bore you to tears.  Personally, my bet is on the last one.  I’ve collected a few things from the news today and I’ll share them with you.


Do the holidays put you in a celebratory mood?

And do you like to imbibe in some seasonal adult beverages?  And do those seasonal, celebratory drinks continue long past the holidays?  If so, that’s not surprising according to this article from the Washington Post.  It seems that we Americans are drinking ourselves to death at an alarming rate.  But…if we’re drinking ourselves to death isn’t any rate of it alarming?

Alcohol is killing Americans at a rate not seen in at least 35 years, according to new federal data. Last year, more than 30,700 Americans died from alcohol-induced causes, including alcohol poisoning and cirrhosis, which is primarily caused by alcohol use.

In 2014, there were 9.6 deaths from these alcohol-induced causes per 100,000 people, an increase of 37 percent since 2002.This tally of alcohol-induced fatalities excludes deaths from drunk driving, other accidents, and homicides committed under the influence of alcohol. If those numbers were included the annual toll of deaths directly or indirectly caused by alcohol would be closer to 90,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The article states that previously professionals in public health had been concentrating more on deaths from opioids or other prescription medications, “But in 2014, more people died from alcohol-induced causes (30,722) than from overdoses of prescription painkillers and heroin combined (28,647), according to the CDC.”.  Now there was one quote from the piece that struck me as absolutely hysterical and here it is:

“Since the prevalence of heavy drinking tends to follow closely with per capita consumption, it is likely that one explanation for the growth in alcohol-related deaths is that more people are drinking more,” he wrote in an email.

Okay.  So one reason for higher alcohol-related deaths is because more people are drinking more.  Alrighty then.  So moving on…

What’s in your wallet? A credit card or
possible lawsuit against you?

Some research done by ProPublica revealed that Capital One had a tendency to file a “disturbing” number of lawsuits against its cardholders and for relatively small amounts.

During the years of the recession, particularly 2008 through 2010, when the number of credit card defaults surged, many banks filed more lawsuits. But Capital One dwarfed them all, reaching levels never matched by any company before or since, according to ProPublica’s review of data going back to 1996.

By our estimate, the suits exceeded half a million per year nationally during those peak years.

Oscar Parsons got his first credit card from Capital One and he decided to accept it since he banked at a Capital One branch near where he lived.

Initially, he had little problem keeping up with the payments. But after a run of construction jobs came to an end, he fell behind and found himself ducking the bank’s collections calls, he said. Each time the company’s TV commercials popped up, asking, “What’s in your wallet?” Parsons thought: “It’s not enough to pay you back.”

This year, Capital One provided Parsons with another first: his first lawsuit. For failing to pay his $1,800 debt, the company took him to court. Currently on public benefits and in a job training program, Parsons has nothing Capital One can take. But should Parsons find work, Capital One could use a court judgment to seize money from his bank account or take a portion of his wages.

It turns out that Capital One Bank tends to market its cards to those folks who are “living on the edge”, “said Steve Brobeck, executive director of the Consumer Federation of America. ‘A large majority of these cardholders carry balances from month-to-month, because they can’t afford to pay off the balance.’.

“A Capital One spokeswoman said the bank serves an important function by providing credit to large numbers of borrowers who might be unlikely to get it from other banks. When customers fall behind on payments, she said, the bank makes every effort to work with them.”  Uh-huh, sure.

ProPublica also found out this little interesting tidbit:

Debt collection lawsuits are especially prevalent in black neighborhoods, as ProPublica reported in October, where suits over smaller debts are more common. Capital One obtained judgments in mostly black neighborhoods at nearly twice the rate as in mostly white neighborhoods, a larger disparity than the other major card issuers, we found. Capital One’s spokeswoman said the bank did not take race into consideration when making a loan or filing a suit.

Yeah, okay, sure. Just remember all of that when you see the commercial that asks “What’s in your wallet?”.

This just in!

Mexican authorities caught that little b@stard who got off with probation based on the “affluenza” defense.

Mexican authorities have detained Ethan Couch and his mother, Tonya Couch, in the beach resort town of Puerto Vallarta, the Tarrant County district attorney’s office confirmed late Monday.

Couch, 18, had been on the run since missing an appointment with his probation officer earlier this month — a violation of a 10-year-probation sentence he received for drunkenly killing four with his Ford F-350 pickup in 2013.

CNN first reported Monday evening that the Couches had been tracked down in Mexico.

Honestly, I can’t believe that the little turd got away with that 10-year probation to begin with.  And the prosecutor at the time warned:

In his closing statements, Richard Alpert, Tarrant County assistant district attorney, argued that if given a light sentence, Couch would likely veer off the path.

“There can be no doubt that he will be in another courthouse one day blaming the lenient treatment he received here,” Alpert said.

If anyone has a right to say “I told ya so”, it’s the A.D.A. Alpert.  And if he’s still with the Tarrant County D.A.’s office I hope he gets to try them both this time.

Welp, that’s all I got for today.  This is an open thread for anyone who stops by.  Take the comments in any direction you wish.  And in keeping with my visuals above here’s a sound effect to go with it.  Oh and Happy New New Year to all; I’ll see you in 2016.

And in keeping with the WaPo article, here’s some Sinatra to go with that one.






53 Responses to "Tuesday “stuff”"

The alcoholism combined with opiate abuse and higher suicide rates are reducing the life expectancy of primarily middle aged white guys which is turning the tables from what is usually the case in health statistics.

Just another reason to look forward to turning the calendar page.

Thanks for posting Fredster.

Hey Fredster, Was Santa good to you this year?
Other than that, I have nothing sentient or intelligent to say (I have to clear my mind for tonight’s “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) but I wanted to stop and wave.

Prolix, hope you’re feeling better.

I know you didn’t mean it this way but alcoholism combined with opiate abuse

I’ll have a vodka-no ice to wash down my vicodin and a xanax for later. 😉

I think I’ve seen that Dutch painting before; is that the one showing a man pooping? Ancestor of a modern day Trump enthusiast, I presume?

Sweet Sue, Santa was as good as he could be to a grouchy ole b@stid like myself. 😆

Oh you too with RHOBH? I have to confess that I love watching that show.

Sweet Sue@4: LOL! I have no idea!! That was a pic I had put on the blog before and when I was looking then I had googled “winter scenes” or something like that.

Fredster, our mutual love of RHOBH will remain our little secret.
Great intellectuals need mental down time, too.

@7: Okay – our secret! I always like to see where they’re going on *the* trip since there’s always at least one trip for all of the Housewives groups. And last week had me laughing at the miniature horses. I have no idea why Lisa V.P. got that idea.

Just read this squib of an article and it is just too good not to be shared, so here goes in full:

Deputies: Woman Ate Sushi, Drank Wine While Riding Wal-Mart Cart

Lecanto, FL — A FL woman has been accused of taking methamphetamine and driving a motorized shopping cart through a Wal-Mart while drinking wine and eating sushi and cinnamon rolls.

According to a Citrus County Sheriff’s Office arrest report, security officer Robert Gross observed Josseleen E. Lopez, 25, consuming $32.36 worth of food and wine inside the Lecanto store.

Gross says he watched Lopez open some sushi, eat a piece and then put it back on the shelf. He says Lopez did the same thing with a package of mini muffins and cinnamon rolls. He says Lopez also ate most of a rotisserie chicken.

I have to say, $32 for dinner, dessert, and wine — pretty good deal for someone with such a good appetite.

@9: Oh dear Lord! Yeah, I really want sushi that comes from Wal-Mart! OTOH, as you said Prolix, not bad on the price. Oh I forgot to include the rotisserie chicken.

@10, I’m just picturing some cranked up lady riding around Wal-Mart on a cart leaving a wake of chicken bones behind her.

You can’t make up stuff like this.

Hi Fredster and all! Hope everyone is having a good holiday. Here’s a video by a conservative group from Arizona mocking Trump that’s pretty funny.

Hey GAgal! Oh that was too funny!!

Hope your holiday is going well also.

Thank goodness LSU is finally opening their game up.

Wow. Under Texas state law if the affluenza guy’s probation violation goes back to juvenile court, his maximum sentence could be four months in a juvenile facility even though he’s now 18. I’m shocked by that considering how Texas is known for it’s tough prison system.

@16: I saw something about that on the news. Grrrr… 👿
Of course his mom might get sent to the slammer and I hope she does.

Congrats to my LSU Tigers. 🙂

@12, Love that video! Thanks for sharing.

How to go from What Would Jesus Do about the Syrian refugees to selling baby body parts in less than a minute.. Oh and something about Jesus ain’t the Statue of Liberty and evangelicals are fine with bombing everybody but them.

Oops! How did I do that?

Gagal: Did you want that link in there or just the video?

I think this is the same one.

@20 & 22, if condoms are required for porn videos, then Fox needs to require them for this evangelical fluffing as well.

To paraphrase this Jeffress joker, “Let’s not talk about a real, flesh and blood, life and death issue of refugees, let’s talk about some fictionalized propaganda cooked up by PR drones because that is what feeds my coffers — that is what is important to me.”

Of course, the Sushi bandit lives in Florida.
What’s with Florida?

@24: We just do the best that we can.

According to Foreign Policy magazine, here are some of the best worst lines, lies, and bloviations of 2015. The commentaries are from the FP editors.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.):

“I don’t know how this ends if you give [the Ukrainians] a defensive capability. But I know this: I will feel better.” (Bret Stephens, “From Munich to Munich,” Wall Street Journal, Feb. 9, 2015)

The desired policy goal for weapons exports should never be to “feel better.”

Gen. Martin Dempsey, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:

“You know, going … from peace to war … we probably get about an A-plus on that. Getting from war to peace, I don’t know.” (Remarks and Q&A at the Texas A&M University 60th Student Conference on National Affairs, Feb. 19, 2015)

I would confidently grade the Pentagon’s war-to-peace efforts a D-minus.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.):

“We’ve been fighting this radical Islamist ideology for 1,400 years.” (Hearing on Outside Perspectives on the President’s Proposed AUMF Against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, House Armed Services Committee, Feb. 26, 2015)

You probably did not know the United States was engaged in fighting terrorism long before the United States existed.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas):

Cruz: “The whole world’s on fire.”
3-year-old Julie Trant: “The world is on fire?!”
Cruz: “YES! Your world is on fire. But you know what? Your mommy’s here, and everyone’s here to make sure the world you grow up in is even better.” (Remarks in Barrington, New Hampshire, March 15, 2015)

Comedian Patton Oswalt later tweeted, “The little girl who was just informed by Ted Cruz that her ‘world is on fire’? That’s her supervillain origin story.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.):

“It was a mistake to be in Libya. We are less safe. Jihadists swim in our swimming pool now! It’s a disaster! We should have never been there!” (New Hampshire Republican Leadership Summit, April 18, 2015)

The “Not in Our Pool” Non-Intervention Doctrine.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.):

“On our strategy on global jihadists and terrorists, I refer them to the movie Taken…Liam Neeson. He had a line, and this is what our strategy should be: ‘We will look for you, we will find you, and we will kill you.’” (South Carolina Freedom Summit, May 9, 2015)

The Taken Doctrine is an apt metaphor for the war on terrorism because it sounds super tough, kills bad guys initially, but there is always an even worse sequel, or two, or three.

Daniel Russel, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs:

“Reclamation isn’t necessarily a violation of international law, but it’s certainly violating the harmony, the feng shui, of Southeast Asia, and it’s certainly violating China’s claim to be a good neighbor and a benign and non-threatening power.” (Simon Denyer, “Tensions rise between Washington and Beijing over man-made islands,” Washington Post, May 13, 2015)

One suspects that Beijing’s political leaders have a different interpretation of the proper feng shui in the South China Sea.

Lt. Gen. Robert Neller, then-Marine Corps commandant nominee:

“I met with Chinese officers and we didn’t agree on very much, but we had a nice lunch.” (Hearing on the nomination of Lt. Gen. Robert Neller to be General and Commandant of the Marine Corps, Senate Armed Services Committee, July 23, 2015)

John Kerry, secretary of state:

Sam Stein of the Huffington Post: “As a practical matter, how does introducing more weapons to the region help stabilize it?”

Sec. Kerry: “Well, they’re defensive weapons.” (Interview with Sam Stein of the Huffington Post, Sept. 3, 2015)

Forget that there is no meaningful distinction between offensive and defensive weapons; all weapons sales destabilize the military balance between combatants.

Deborah Lee James, secretary of the Air Force:

“We’re in the business of killing terrorists and business is good.”

@25: Well hey there Miz Chat! Good to see ya. 🙂

Thank you. What’s left of me, anyhow.

Fredster, thanks for warning about Capitol One! I read about that horrible spoiled teen. He should go to jail. I still can’t believe his lame defense worked…affluenza? Are you kidding me?

Re the Walmart connoisseur…eww! But pretty funny.

@26, LOL!

Chat, hope you’re on the mend!

Since both our old macs went on the fritz this month (also, both cars…I had a truly hideous month), hubs bought his work computer and I am getting used to pc life. I clicked on a youtube link, and kept clicking on the volume and no sound came out!!! I was so frustrated and told hubs this stupid thing didn’t work and he told me that he didn’t get the speakers! I said speakers?!? What the hell? Speakers?!? I had to go to Best Buy and buy speakers for this thing (and now have to hook them up). It also won’t print from my printer, and worst of all, has a giant ugly “tower” cluttering up the place. I don’t get why the computer and the speakers aren’t inside the screen like a mac. God, I was spoiled. 😦

The dissonance in the Force has now quieted — Jedi Chat is back — things are as they should be in TW universe.

@26, It just struck me where I heard this before:

“We’re in the business of killing terrorists and business is good.”

It was in Inglorious Bastards by none other than Lt. Aldo Raine:

You probably heard we ain’t in the prisoner-takin’ business; we in the killin’ Nazi business. And cousin, business is a-boomin’.

@30: Annie, so sorry your month has been so profoundly fecal.

This is where I try and be positive and cheer you up. First, you would hate, hate, hate the sound of internal speakers on a PC. The external speakers are just so much better even the cheap ones.

Second, here’s what I did to make my “tower” tolerable once upon a time. I went to a Halloween type store, you know, they have all kinds of “costumey” stuff — well I bought all kinds of stuff to decorate the tower. I found a big old tongue I glued to the CD drawer and when it came out, it kinda stuck it’s tongue out at me. I put eyes and ears on the tower, even a patch of ugly, receding hair. The tower became quite happy-making.

Feel better and tell my buddy Laker happy new trip around the sun.

@33, LOL, thanks Prolix! Actually, the speakers inside the mac aren’t great either, just convenient. Anyway, we will survive. We’re getting my car back tomorrow! And the Apple store dudes fixed my mac laptop. I may pay someone to fix the desk top, just because of all the stuff inside it. I have everything backed up on a terabyte, but don’t know how to retrieve it, so probably another trip to the Apple store. They have never charged me for anything, in fact they have given me lots of free stuff over the years (even an ipod), so that’s probably why I’m such a diehard mac-nut. I do like the screen of this pc, its very nice. Laker is doing fine, he’s with his musician buds tonight, playing guitar. He’s working on his dreams, and being a good kid. He wants to see Star Wars again, like any loyal geek. Did you see it?

Fredster, congrats on the LSU win! We’re so glad. Hubs is watching the Trojans play the “Holiday Bowl” now. So far, we’re losing by a field goal, but its early. They’re playing WI.

annie@35: Thanks for that on the game. I’m watching USC now myself. C’mon Trojans, you’re only down by 7.

I can say I’m sorry about the Mac thing, but can’t identify because I’ve never had one. Everything in “my world” was PC oriented so I went that way.

It also won’t print from my printer
Okay, that I can maybe help with. You have to make sure the computer has drivers for your particular printer. Windows should have recognized the printer as “new hardware” and should have proceeded to look for drivers in Windows and if they weren’t there, Windows should have started a search for driver(s). I’ll send you an email and we’ll see if we can figure it out.

I had a doc’s appt today, first time with a new one. He seems okay and his staff is very nice. However, I can see we’re going to butt heads on a few things.

Fredster, it did look for the driver, but apparently couldn’t find it. I am looking for whatever I did with the original cd. I may have to buy a new printer/scanner, but they’re not expensive anymore & hubs has been wanting one.

Its funny, all the little details though…for instance, as I’m typing, I’m still not used to the extra noise. This Dell keyboard is “clattery” next to my new mac keyboard. Anyway, I’ll survive, and really, its about time I learned to use Windows.

Hubs is worried that Trojans will lose. L.A. sports teams have made terrible decisions this past year. We are upset with all our teams.

Fredster, we were talking about how many bowls there are now, and laker says there was a “belt bowl” and fans were shaking their belts in the air!?!

Laker says he thinks there should be a Victoria’s Secret bowl, and the fans can wave thong undies and toss them around.

@34, I’m “bi-technical” on Mac vs. Puter. I have used both, actually learned on a Mac, but have mostly had PCs. There are things I like about both — I think Macs are healthier from a virus standpoint, but PCs fit my work needs better. In large measure I’m just a glorified research stenographer and typist so a PC is better suited for those things, but graphically, I love Macs.

Yeppers, I went this afternoon and saw Star Wars. First, I really liked it — really did — but, it’s like the feeling I have for really good “cover” bands. I had seen that Star Wars before. The events, the antagonists, the scene choreography, the exits, the character tensions — it had all been there before.

JJ Abrams is a really talented, magically talented, maestro and conductor of the art form of movie-making, but he’s not a composer of “musical imagination”. I think his reboot of Star Trek was much better and much more original.

I enjoyed it, but the truly ground-breaking or galaxy-breaking stuff was in the 70’s version. I went to a late matinee and watched the younger kids — they had the “gee whiz — wow” that I had when I first saw it. That was happy-making for me to see a whole new generation being infected with the whimsy of Star Wars in a theater.

@38, not to be confusing, but yesterday was the Belk Bowl not to be confused with a Belt Bowl.

North Carolina State

28 – 51

Mississippi State

annie, just google “printer drivers for [your model]” and you should be able to find them. The thing is, to make sure it’s compatible with the version of Windows you have. Have a friend who had an older model printer/scanner and when she got her new laptop with Windows 8 the printer/scanner wasn’t supported in that version. I just did a check the other day to make sure that my printer/scanner was compatible with Windows 10. According to Epson, it is. We’ll see when I update the o.s.

Prolix I was wondering about that too if that was the Belk Bowl Laker was talking about.

Oh Annie, that was a heartbreaker. USC was in it literally until the last second. Tell the dudes I’m sorry for the loss.

@41, ROFL! Think you guys are right, and goofy misheard it. I don’t know where he saw fans waving belts–he says he saw it on espn, so maybe it was a different game?

Trojans blew it…:(

Fredster, thanks for consoling us–you’re right, it was up to the last seconds. Los Angeles sports. Ugh. Oh well, at least we have lots of good music to go see and hear. Friday night we’re going to a blues club.

@45: Hey it could have been the football fans making fun of the name of the bowl game.

@46: I totally expected, and didn’t think it would be odd, to see a catch that would have gotten USC into field goal range. I was totally prepared that they would get the field goal and then win by 1.

Sounds like Friday night will be fun.

@47, yeah, hubs was hoping for it, but I was doubtful.

@48: Oh well, I guess me and your hubs are the eternal optimists. LOL!

Oh! The LSU defensive coordinator accepted a job at Auburn so the d.c. job is open at LSU. In the comments about the article *everyone* was saying the same thing: Give the d.c. job to coach O! I think he would be great at it and I hope he does get the job.

If y’all have a chance go check out uppitywoman’s latest post on bodily fluids and…umm…bodily noises.

Here’s something that will make you want to barf. I’m not going to put the video in here. You can go here to see the article and watch the vid.

Don’t need to add a thing to this.

@45: Belks is Macy’s for Southerners.

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