The Widdershins

Author Archive

Today marks 20 years since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. I’m thinking about the immense impact that day had on our country, not least because we had the wrong leaders.

Because we had the wrong Mayor of New York on 9/11, the city’s emergency response center was moved to the World Trade Center and was destroyed in that attack. Because we had the wrong President on 9/11, we were plunged into two seemingly endless wars, costing trillions of dollars and killing, or deeply wounding, hundreds of thousands. After 20 years, we are finally out of both wars, neither of which we won (they were not winnable in any meaningful sense); but the damage of these wars is incalculable.

I was in Manhattan on 9/11. Recently, I found out that a woman I know was not just there, but a first responder, in her capacity as a mental health professional. I thought you all might be interested in her recollections, recently published in a local Palo Alto paper.

In reflecting on the horrors of 9/11, today I am also thinking of a more recent terrorist attack: the violent coup attempt of 1/6/21, when the outgoing President of the United States planned, orchestrated and then watched the action in a tent close by, as though it were a wrap party for The Apprentice. How far was the journey from George W. Bush, who launched wars on feelings to steal oil and minerals from brown people in other countries, to Donald Trump, who launched an insurrection to steal votes and power from Black and brown people in our country?

In retrospect, maybe it wasn’t as far as it seemed. If Republicans are willing to lead our country into 20-year wars abroad, it’s not much of a stretch to understand that they are also willing to lead our country into endless wars at home.

Wars of white supremacy, for profit and their own glory – they are the GOP’s modus operandi, now and forever. That’s something we should always remember on 9/11.

Open thread, of course.

I continue to marvel at the media’s desperate campaign to legitimize TFG, his enablers and their insane actions. They miss the Mango Moron so very, very much, and they want him to run again because he was a ratings bonanza. His political future isn’t very bright these days, unfortunately for them, but they continue largely ignore this and to bash Democrats 24/7. Their Afghanistan coverage is a primary example of this. Check out this headline from the WaPo two days ago: Biden faces most acute crisis of his young presidency. Golly, did we forget about coronavirus already?

Speaking of the ‘Rona, the Delta variant is causing a huge amount of trouble among the unvaccinated (and breaking through for some of us who ARE vaccinated! Many hugs and well wishes for a continued recovery to you, D!). It appears to be both much more contagious AND possibly more severe than Alpha. But don’t worry, Republicans have some super-scientifical solutions to this problem! Oh no, not vaccines and masks – horse and cow dewormer, aka ivermectin! Because Covid-19 is a worm. Or something. I have no idea what is wrong with these #COVIDIOTS. Other weird science solutions include Republican governors trying to block federal mask and vaccine mandates before they happen. I say “trying” because #DeathSantis’s order attempting to block mask mandates was just overturned in court. Texas governor Greg Abbott will likely suffer the same fate.

Meanwhile, the real scientists have discovered a promising new potential treatment for COVID-19 – fluvoxamine. The good thing about this drug is that it’s already FDA-approved, cheap to produce and is a pill patients can take themselves – not an intravenous treatment like monoclonal antibodies, which must be administered by a doctor. Preliminary data suggests that it could reduce COVID-19 hospitalizations and need for ventilators by 31%. As the article states,

Here’s what we know: This is a large and well-designed study that affirms previous studies that pointed in the same direction. More research is needed, but the results from this trial might already start changing how we treat Covid-19. And the way researchers stumbled upon the drug as a potential treatment is a worthwhile story in itself about the scientific process and the unseen and often unheralded work that’s helping humanity fight the pandemic.

I couldn’t agree more. Thank the Goddess for real (not weird) science and scientists! Open thread as always.

Widdershins, today I’m going to take a break from politics and share something I’ve been struggling with personally.

Last May, I got a call from a dear friend’s wife. I missed it because I was in a client meeting and figured hey, I can call her back. I did have a brief flash of “that’s odd that she’d call me on a Monday morning, I hope my friend is okay” but then dismissed that thought because he was 54 and in good health.

When I called her back, she said he had passed away the day before. We both started bawling uncontrollably. Apparently the family (my friend, his wife and their two kids, who are 16 and 13) were picnicking in the park near their how. My friend was laughing one minute, then suddenly grimaced, clutched his heart and fell over. He was just gone. They tried CPR and heart massage, but there was nothing they could do, and the EMTs pronounced him when they arrived.

A bit of history about my friend (let’s call him BC). I met him, along with many of my closest friends, in college, my freshman year. BC was in the companion dorm to mine, right across a big common area called the Lounge. So many parties, late night chats, trips. We were all thick as thieves. BC and I kept in touch pretty well – his brother was in NYC, so he stayed with me and my roommates once when I was in grad school. We spoke on the phone. I even visited him and his then-girlfriend (who became his wife) in Hawaii when I happened to be there.

But once BC moved to Southern California, we started losing touch. My family was almost all on the East Coast, and my brother was in NorCal. He and his wife were becoming parents and building a life out West. I was building my career and life with my husband. And every time we talked, it was always at least an hour and a half, so we had to plan it out pretty carefully as we got busier and busier.

Flash forward to the pandemic.

The first week after we went remote at work (week of March 16, 2020), I coordinated a Zoom call with my college friends. At first, for me it was a check-in call to make sure everyone was safe. I couldn’t stand the thought of not knowing how everyone was, and I could see that with Drumpf in charge we were going to have a terrible time of it. After we talked for a while, I suggested the call be every week. At first people thought that was excessive, but I convinced them to try it and if we wanted to adjust, we could adjust. It turned out to be our bastion of sanity and connection during those very dark days, and we’ve continued it to this day.

I mentioned BC a few times, and then eventually decided I would try to reach out. I found his email on LinkedIn and he responded right away. I told him about the call and invited him, and soon afterwards he started showing up regularly, with his wonderful wife and kids dropping in to say hi frequently. It was just as though we had never lost touch.

I’m so thankful for the timing of that outreach, because we all had several months of being with him before that dreadful May day. My husband said BC was the funniest guy he ever met. It was the way he thought about things – so logical to him, but mystifying to everyone else. The classic example: he decided to go to Hawaii because he was a waiter in Rochester, NY – why not be a waiter somewhere warm? No worries at all about logistics or career – he focused on what would make him physically and emotionally content. His boundless curiosity and desire to understand life from every angle made ambition beside the point.

The last conversation we had was with a couple of my other friends and BC. We spent 45 minutes helping him talk through a decision he wanted to make about his daughter’s education – he was trying to figure out what to tell her about whether to take a class she didn’t want to take. In the end I gave him the advice he took – tell her the risks of not taking the class (she might not get into the college she wanted) and let her decide. She would ultimately bear the consequences of the decision, so it was best to give her the grace to make it for herself.

Five days later, he was dead. And so began the agony of figuring out who was going to call whom to break the horrible news, including the Googling of another friend we had lost touch with and talking to him for 45 minutes about BC, and making plans about how to honor him at his Celebration of Life (coming up next weekend). The whole terrible, awful, unfair mess of it all. A middle-aged man in the prime of his life, cut down in the midst of joy. The pain of it is brutal and sly, the tears catching me unawares before a meeting or in quiet moments at the end of the day.

What I want to say about this is, if there’s someone you love whom you haven’t seen or spoken with in a long time, don’t wait to reach out. Life is short, random and unforgiving. Keep your dear ones close. You’ll never regret it.

This is an open thread.

Well friends, it looks like the Treasury Department is no longer able to protect the Mango Moron from the consequences of his tax fraud. And you know who’s going to see them? The Ways and Means Committee in the House.

These are all the people who are going to take a gander at those taxes.

If you scroll all the way to the bottom, you may notice the picture of a stunning Black woman from the US Virgin Islands, Rep. Stacey Plaskett. Remember her?

Yeah. I think he’s screwed.

Tawk amongst yerselves!

Tags:

This week was a revelatory one, wasn’t it? As the January 6th Select Committee sets its first hearing with law enforcement on July 27th, more and more scary-but-not-shocking details are coming out about the depth and comprehensiveness of Drumpf’s attempts to establish himself as the Dick-tator of the United States.

Here’s a story I read this morning quoting Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-MD, the extraordinary leader of Drumpf’s 2nd impeachment effort. Mr. Raskin is also a member of the Select Committee. The story contains some key nuggets about how Mike Pence’s refusal to do the Mango Moron’s bidding on 1/6 likely prevented the overturning of the election and imposition of martial law. And the way the Thugs would have done it, could have been inspired directly by “Veep.”

“All they wanted Pence to do was to rebuff the electors coming in from Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania, lowering Biden’s total below 270, kicking the presidential contest into a contingent election,” Raskin said.

“In the event that no presidential candidate can reach 270 Electoral College votes, the next president is selected by the House of Representatives. This rare situation has not arisen since the 19th century [well…except on “Veep,” when an electoral college tie sent the election back to the House!].

“And there they wanted it because we vote not one member, one vote, but one state, one vote,” Raskin went on.

“And if they’d been able to do that, which would not have been really that much if you look at the different things Mike Pence did over the prior four years for Trump, they would have won it with 27 states to 22 for the Democrats and one tied.”

“And at that point, he probably would’ve followed the advice of Michael Flynn and imposed martial law and a state of siege, and this would’ve been the Reichstag moment,” he said.

Barring the martial law part, which is more speculative, it looks like Drumpf’s coup d’etat plan included elements that were similar to what happened on a TeeVee show about a corrupt politician doing anything and everything to claw her way to the White House and stay there. So on brand for TFG! And only Mike Pence stopped it from working.

I never thought I’d say this, but thank Goddess for Mike Pence. (Sorry, Beata!) Unlike in “Veep,” where the peaceful transfer of power was observed no matter how evil the candidate was, the US as we know it wouldn’t have survived the overturning of the election and the reinstatement of der Drumpfenfuhrer.

Brace yourselves for more of these revelations over the next several months, Shinners!

Open thread, as always.


Biden illustration: REBUILD WITH BIDEN

Nice picture of our gal

Madam Vice President

Our President

It’s here: QUARANTINE BINGO!

Wanna Be A Widdershin?

Send us a sample post at:

widdershinssubmissions at gmail dot com

Our Frontpagers

Blog Archive

September 2021
M T W T F S S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930  

Not done yet with you

Friggin Lizard people

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

“The” Book

Only the *best* politicans bought by the NRA

Marching for their lives

Need Reminders?

IOW Dumb = Happy?

Dems are coming for ya