The Widdershins

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Good day Widdershins and yes this is Memorial Day weekend, when we honor those men and women who have given their lives in duty to their country.  Enjoy your barbeque, potato salad and whatever other fixin’s you will have, but take a moment to pause and reflect on those who gave their lives for our country.

The quote in the headline is by Thomas William Parsons of Boston.  I have never heard of him previously but his quote was liststed on a site of Memorial Day quotes and I liked it.

Here are a couple of others that we may or may not think of on this day:

to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan –
from Abraham Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural Address

And I liked this one from Longfellow:Boy Visiting Grave on Veterans Day

They are dead; but they live in each Patriot’s breast,
And their names are engraven on honor’s bright crest.

What I’m going to do today is to put up a series of pictures of our military from the various conflicts our nation has engaged in.

The Revolutionary War

American Revolution Gravestone

Washington

The War of 1812

War of 1812

The Civil War

War between the States

World War I

WW I soldiers

World War II

Women in WW II

Korean Conflict

Korean Conflict

Viet Nam

Viet Nam: helo and troops

Iraq – Afghanistan

U.S. Troops leaving Iraq

Female solider Iraq

Woman soldier

What I was looking for, for this post, were pictures/photos of the *people* in the war.  Obviously there are tons and tons of them out there, but I just chose those that seemed to attract my attention.

veterans-who paid priceWhether a veteran has served in a “good war” as some say or a “bad[?]” war, they have all served and those who died gave us the ultimate sacrifice.  So let us pause and reflect on that, and on those they left behind.

Vintage double flag and eagle

 

Yes dear Widdershins it seems we will once again visit the land of fibs, untruths and general mendacity.  I fear it will be a recurring theme for the foreseeable future as long as the man-child is in our midst.

So y’all know the drill.  I’ll put up a few musical clips following the theme and y’all can please add some of your own contributions in the comments.

(1) Flashpoint~Fear Factory  (“One last spark of dishonesty And that will be the death of me”)

(2) Napalm Factory~Mass Appeal Madness

(3) Rotten Sound~ Traitor
Stealing from your family/Destroying your security
Safety of our well-being/Torn by your dishonesty

(4) A Matter of Trust~Billy Joel

(5) Would I lie to you~Eurythmics

So there you go widdershins, volume what-number-is-this? of the Donald Trump lying songs tribute. Keep those lists handy as I feel we will be returning to this theme again.

Please share your contributions below.

A GOOD SUNDAY TO YOU WIDDERSHINS!

Fredster still has not felt like the muses have come around so once again let’s take a look at some of the odd, funny or strange things I’ve found out there on the internet.

Ways in which Amtrak should not emulate the Japanese

This one is kind of old but I had it in the bookmarks for strange/odd news.

So this “super-express train” was barrelling down the tracks the way those Japanese (and German and French and probably Italian) fast trains travel.  (Wish we had some of those)  And anyway a passenger on the train notices that a snake is wrapped around the armrest of a passenger seat (occupied) in front of him!

The train’s operator, JR Tokai, or Central Japan Railway Co., said the passenger sitting in the reserved seat was unaware that the snake was wrapped around his armrest for about 50 minutes until the person behind him saw it and notified a conductor.

Railway spokesman Atsuo Utano said the train crew made an announcement asking if anyone had lost a pet snake and informing passengers of an unscheduled stop, but nobody came forward.

The super-express train made a stop at Hamamatsu station about 25 minutes later, and railway police removed the snake and the train departed in about one minute, Utano said.

He said the train arrived in Hiroshima, its destination, on time.

Now…the snake was on that armrest for 50 minutes before another passenger noticed it? Then, the train people asked if someone had lost their snake?  And then finally, after another 25 minutes they stopped.  Uh..no people.  I would have been looking for that damned emergency rope thing you see on trains in the movies and yanking on it like crazy.  I have a rule about these things:  ∅ snakes on the train.

I could probably die happy too in this case

It’s actually a variation on a theme we’ve seen before.  But still, maybe I won’t even have to die for this to happen.

Corlis Gilchrist, 92, must have been a staunch Democrat.  And we know how staunch Democrats felt after last November, right?

Mr. Gilchrist’s obituary included this :

he was “a proud union member and took great pride in his work with Armstrong Tire, retiring after more than 40 years of service

And so his family did this for him:

…died peacefully this month after family members falsely told him the process to impeach President Donald Trump had begun “so that he could rest in peace.”

I would have lied to him too and secretly hope that it does happen…very soon.  And apparently some people were sooo worried back in November they decided on an early checkout:

Last year, a woman’s obituary published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch said Mary Anne Noland, 68, of Richmond, Virginia, decided to “pass” instead of vote in the November election.

“Faced with the prospect of voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, Mary Anne Noland of Richmond chose, instead, to pass into the eternal love of God,” the obituary read. Her husband said it was meant as a joke as a means for her family to continue her sense of humor.

Truth in advertising or delusions of grandeur?

Okay folks, I had to really think about adding this one, but it’s so preposterous I had to include it.

So once again in Florida (always in Florida!) a man is on trial for murder for choking his girlfriend to death.  But Richard Patterson has an explanation of how said choking occurred.  His defense attorney also wants Patterson to provide a visual to the jury.

Not Patterson

Richard Henry Patterson, 65, has admitted he choked his girlfriend, Francisca Marquinez, 60, to death on Oct. 28, 2015, but claims it happened accidentally during oral sex, The Sun Sentinel reported.

He’s now seeking a judge’s permission to show the jury his penis — to prove her death was a mistake.

Patterson’s attorney, Ken Padowitz, said his client’s member figures prominently in his “rough sex” defense, which hinges on the argument that Marquinez died accidentally, while engaging in consensual sexual activity.

Padowitz has enlisted expert witness and former Broward County Medical Examiner Dr. Ronald Wright to testify that Marquinez’s death “is consistent with being accidentally sexually asphyxiated during oral sex,” the motion said.

He insists that a viewing of Patterson’s penis is integral to the jury understanding Wright’s argument.

Now I’m all in favor of a defendant using any means they can to put on a defense but…really?  Wouldn’t it be interesting if, instead of a large Bockwurst, Patterson had more of a vienna sausage and a large ego?  Oh and by the way I hope they convict the bastard.

* * * *

A couple of humorous You Tube Clips

This guy has been doing convenience story inventory for waay too long.

Yes it’s true – watch out for lightening.

* * * *

Okay that’s all I have Widdershins.  Take the conversation in any direction you wish.  And also, a Happy Mothers’ Day to all the moms out there!

 

 

The caption reads: History Repeats Itself – The Robber Barons Of the Middle Ages And The Robber Barons of Today

And there is a bigger copy of the image here

** so said Gordon Gekko in Wall Street

 

Good Tuesday Widdershins!

So have you ever heard that phrase or one similar that goes something like “I know a friend of a friend of…the police chief, the Mayor…” or someone else that implies the person knows the high muckety-mucks and that relationship can help…you.  That’s a pretty good description of an event that was held at the Ritz Carlton in Beijing this past weekend. The event was sponsored by the Kushner crime uh family.

The shindig was an “investment opportunity” for wealthy Chinese citizens to plunk a cool half million dollars into a Kushner luxury apartment complex in Jersey.  And it has the additional sweetener that by plunking down said $500k you can also apply for what’s known as an investor visa.   That program is called the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Process.  I might refer to it as “grease the skids on getting entrance to the U.S.”.

And of course it was all on the up and up.  Of course.  And we know it was on the up and up because it included Nicole Kushner Meyer, Jared’s sister.  And of course she was introduced just that way, as Jared’s sister.  And these people knew exactly who Jared Kushner is; the son-in-law of the President of the United States.

The tagline on a brochure for the event: “Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States.”

Over several hours of slide shows and presentations, representatives from the Kushner family business urged Chinese citizens gathered at a Ritz-Carlton hotel to consider investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in a New Jersey luxury apartment complex that would help them secure what’s known as an investor visa.

The potential investors were advised to invest sooner rather than later in case visa rules change under the Trump administration. “Invest early, and you will invest under the old rules,” one speaker said.  [me – I wonder if they ran that line past Col. Cornpone and Steve Bannon?  Those two might now want any of these yellow people getting into ‘Merica.]

Gawd, do these people, any of them, have any shame or is it all about the almighty dollar, regardless of what it looks like.

The event underscores the extent to which Kushner’s private business interests have the potential to collide with his powerful role as a top official in his father-in-law’s White House, particularly when it comes to China, where Kushner has become a crucial diplomatic channel between Beijing and the new administration.

While Kushner has reported divesting from elements of the family business, including the specific project that his sister pitched in Beijing, the session Saturday demonstrated that the company is perceived as enjoying close ties to the Trump administration. Ethics laws prohibit government officials from profiting personally from their public-sector work.

Divest, my backside.  The family will be holding Jared’s share for after he leaves government, ya know…after the impeachment.

Still, it’s the image of what this implies.

Watchdogs and ethics experts on Saturday criticized the Beijing event as an attempt to cash in on Kushner’s newfound proximity to power.

“It’s incredibly stupid and highly inappropriate,” said Richard Painter, the former chief White House ethics lawyer in President George W. Bush’s administration, who has become a vocal critic of the Trump administration. “They clearly imply that the Kushners are going to make sure you get your visa. . . . They’re [Chinese applicants] not going to take a chance. Of course they’re going to want to invest.”

And this particular type of visa has become very popular with the Chinese, especially as a way to get their money out of China.

Also, it has become a source of getting dubious investment dollars without really following through on what it was designed for.

The program was launched with the goal of securing investment and creating jobs. But instead, in recent years, many real estate developers have used the program as a source of cheap financing by using foreign investors, especially from China, for flashy projects in Manhattan and other city centers.

A Government Accountability Office report in 2015 found the EB-5 program carried a high risk of fraud, was rife with counterfeit documentation and had “no reliable method to verify the source of the funds of petitioners.”

In other words, a way to finance Trump and Kushner investments and real estate.

 

There’s much more at the link, so check it out when you can.

Lastly, real life issues came up with Prolix so I took today’s post.  I apologize for such an un-Prolix type of post.  It will make us appreciate all the more, the real deal when he has time to post again.  Of course this is an open thread.

 

 

Good Sunday Widdershins!

Oh Widdershins, all the damned news (bad news that is) just keeps hitting us on the head without respite:  Trump/Healthcare, Trump/Russia, Trump/Everything!  It’s just one damned Trumpthing after another.  And honestly I could not come up with any ideas for a post on songs or movies.  The Muses have left me.  So I decided to look around for some odd, funny, or perhaps strange news to share.  Strange…seems to go well with the way the country is these days.  And I’ll share with you what I’ve found.

I’m sure we all feel this way but…

This is an older piece I had bookmarked and somehow I think it will continue to sum up how we feel about the man who calls himself the President, and once again this one comes from the Sunshine State.

So it seems that Joseph Murphy was not happy about the election and was also drunk.  I bet there have been a number of folks who have experienced both of those conditions…and at the same time.  However, you should not, when the police are arresting you ,yell “police brutality” and “F*ck Trump” .

The 20-year-old Murphy was placed in a patrol car and allegedly began banging his head against a partition and then tried to choke himself.

Police said Murphy started yelling “police brutality” and “F*** Trump” to the officers.”

Things got a wee more intense at the Orange County Jail, emphasis on the “wee.”

Officers said Murphy banged his head on the car window and started to urinate on the jail floor, as well as a trooper’s pants “leaving a large wet spot on his uniform,” according to the Palm Beach Post.

Murphy is now facing numerous charges, including battery on a law enforcement officer, exposure of sexual organs, two charges of resisting a police officer without violence and disorderly intoxication.

Further, this seems to be a “thing” in Floriduh with people and the cops and peeing.

Last March, police in Lake County pulled over Carlos Adonis Ramos-Erazo for driving 75 mph in a 55 mph zone.

The 24-year-old allegedly said he was rushing to get home because he had “to go No. 2” and drove off. When they eventually took him into custody, he allegedly pooped and urinated on himself in the patrol car.

In November, 2012, Roger Alvin Henderson allegedly relieved himself all over the squad car of an Alachua County Sheriff’s Deputy who pulled him over for an alleged window tint violation.

Have you ever had “one of those days” when it all seems to hit at once?

Yes, of course you have.  And probably so did these people who got on this car barge in Australia.  Because it’s not a supported video file type for wordpress, you’ll have to go here to see what happens.

Note:  This is where Niki Haley & Lindsey Graham come from

That in and of itself is not a good thing.  This however is worse, I do believe.

Folks must be very picky about the City Marina in Charleston South Carolina because someone called to complain about an old shoe that had been sitting on the dock for several days.  But that wasn’t the end of the story:

Officers were called at 1:35 p.m. Monday to 17 Lockwood Drive between docks J20 and J22, according to an incident report.

“The complainant notified employees at the marina that a shoe has been sitting on the dock for approximately six days with possible remains of a human foot inside of it,” the report said.

The shoe — a teal size 9 Adidas sneaker — had a black sock inside of it, the report said. An object believed to be a human bone was seen inside the shoe and sticking out of the top.

[snip]
Investigators believe the shoe and foot inside were floating amid some debris in the marina for some time, Wooten said. Someone cleaning the debris threw the shoe onto the dock where it sat for six days.

Those Charlestonians weren’t concerned when the foot and shoe were bobbing around in the water, but six days sitting on the dock…well. there are limits.

Is this one of those Kardashian Brazilian butt lift things?

This woman had some nerve I tell ya.

May 5 (UPI) — Customs officials in Arizona said a woman attempting to cross the border from Mexico disguised $45,000 worth of heroin as her buttocks.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the 47-year-old woman, a U.S. citizen from Arizona, was referred for further inspection Tuesday when she attempted to cross the border from Mexico to Nogales in a pedestrian lane.

The woman was searched and investigators discovered she had nearly 3 pounds of heroin, worth more than $45,000, strapped to her backside inside her pants.

 

* * * * *

Lastly, I’ll leave you with Courtney Barnes’ vivid description of an interaction between the police in Jackson Miss. and an individual.  “Like a tornado, gurl”.

Naturally it’s an open thread/post to take wherever you wish.

 

 

A good Friday to you Widdershins!

With Prolix’s laptop giving up the ghost on him and tin cans and string not working well for internet connectivity, Fredster here is going to do a post in his absence.  Prolix has been kind enough to take a post or two for me, so reciprocating is fine with me.  But as one of the tags to the post says, “Not Prolix”, so don’t hold me to that standard…puhleeze!

In some of my readings around the internet I found articles that I thought were interesting and so I bookmarked them for future reference.  I think that will work out just fine today.  This isn’t exactly current events, nor earth shattering, but something I found interesting and perhaps you will also.

* * * *

The topic I want to cover is from Bloomberg Busisnessweek and concerns the auto manufacturing  and auto parts manufacturing companies that have come to some of the southern states and in this case to Alabama.  The piece is subtitled “Cheap Wages, Little Training, Crushed Limbs“.  And that is about right.

Bama’s experiences with the auto manufacturing business began when the state was able to entice Mercedes Benz to build an assembly plant near Tuscaloosa Alabama.  “In 1997…That gleaming M-Class SUV was historic. Alabama, the nation’s fifth-poorest state, had wagered a quarter-billion dollars in tax breaks and other public giveaways to land the first major Mercedes factory outside Germany.”  I don’t know this personally but I’m sure the employees at that plant have decent wages and working conditions because: German company.  And after that initial company, Toyota, Honda and Hyundai opened their own assembly plants in Bama.  The car assembly plants opened in other southern states too; Tennessee and Georgia as examples.  And one reason the plants came was because most of these states are right-to-work states.  U.A.W. ?  Nah, we don’t need no stinkin’ unions here.  And after the car assembly plants, the parts suppliers started opening up in the state.

The parts supplier companies are usually foreign-owned and supply the parts for the assembly plants.  And though the companies may both be from South Korea, there’s no love lost between them.  The assembly plants have contracts with the parts plants and have very fixed quotas on how many widgets for a car those plants must make or they’ll be penalized.  So those suppliers take chances and cut corners, and the corners usually involve worker safety.

Take the case of Regina Elsea.  She had great plans, was going to attend Auburn University with desires to be a pediatrician.  But love called in the form of her kindergarten sweetheart who was a stocker at a local Walmart.  Regina dropped out of school so they both could work to get a place of their own.  She got a job at the Ajin plant which made parts for Hyundai and Kia cars.  Regina was working 12-hour shifts 7 days a week in an effort to go from temporary paying $8.75/hr. to full time permanent with a raise to $10.50/hr.   Here’s what happened to Regina one day:

On June 18, Elsea was working the day shift when a computer flashed “Stud Fault” on Robot 23. Bolts often got stuck in that machine, which mounted pillars for sideview mirrors onto dashboard frames. Elsea was at the adjacent workstation when the assembly line stopped. Her team called maintenance to clear the fault, but no one showed up.

[snip]

After several minutes, Elsea grabbed a tool—on the video it looks like a screwdriver—and entered the screened-off area around the robot to clear the fault herself. Whatever she did to Robot 23, it surged back to life, crushing Elsea against a steel dashboard frame and impaling her upper body with a pair of welding tips. A co-worker hit the line’s emergency shut-off. Elsea was trapped in the machine—hunched over, eyes open, conscious but speechless.

(No one knew how to release the robot)

A team leader raced to get a maintenance worker in the break room.  But the maintenance worker worked in a different part of the plant and wasn’t familiar with this equipment.

When emergency crews arrived several minutes later, Elsea was still stuck. The rescue workers finally did what Elsea had failed to do: locked out the machine’s emergency power switch so it couldn’t reenergize again—a basic precaution that all factory workers are supposed to take before troubleshooting any industrial robot. Ajin, according to OSHA, had never given the workers their own safety locks and training on how to use them, as required by federal law. Ajin is contesting that finding.

An ambulance took Regina to a local hospital and then to a trauma center in Birmingham where she died the next day.  Regina’s mom says she still hasn’t heard a word from Ajin’s owners or senior executives. They sent a single artificial flower to her funeral.

Regina’s isn’t the only horror story involving these supplier companies where the goal is “meet the quota or we lose money or we’ll be penalized”.  Some more examples:

  • A man had worked a 12 hour shift but was summoned to work on a metal press  The press had not been working well all day.  A hole puncher didn’t deploy and then it did…at the wrong time – on his finger. “I saw my meat sticking out of the bottom of my glove,” he says.
  • In 2015, a 33-year-old maintenance worker was engulfed in flames at Nakanishi Manufacturing Corp.’s bearing plant in Winterville, Ga.—after four previous fires in the factory’s dust-collection system.
  • A man working at a plant supplying parts for Mercedes Benz was working cleaning ventilation ducts over dipping pools of acid used to anodize the parts. There were no handrails, gangways or cables. He was working one day cleaning the ducts and “His hands slipped, and he tumbled backward into a vat of sulfuric and phosphoric acid 4 feet deep.”

OSHA (under Obama) began noticing this and cracking down:

The agency cited one year, 2010, when workers in Alabama parts plants had a 50 percent higher rate of illness and injury than the U.S. auto parts industry as a whole. That gap has narrowed, but the incidence of traumatic injuries in Alabama’s auto parts plants remains 9 percent higher than in Michigan’s and 8 percent higher than in Ohio’s. In 2015 the chances of losing a finger or limb in an Alabama parts factory was double the amputation risk nationally for the industry, 65 percent higher than in Michigan and 33 percent above the rate in Ohio.

From David Michaels who headed OSHA under President Obama:

“The supply chain isn’t going just to Bangladesh. It’s going to Alabama and Georgia,” says David Michaels, who ran OSHA for the last seven years of the Obama administration. Safety at the Southern car factories themselves is generally good, he says. The situation is much worse at parts suppliers, where workers earn about 70¢ for every dollar earned by auto parts workers in Michigan, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Many plants in the North are unionized; only a few are in the South.)

Michaels in a meeting with the car companies themselves said to them:

“I gave them a very strong message: ‘This brings shame on your reputation. American consumers are not going to want to buy cars stained with the blood of American workers,’ ”

Summing all of this up:

When Trump suits and ties are made in Mexico and when Ivanka’s clothes are made in sweat shops in Asia, do we really believe that any of these situations are going to improve?  MAGA indeed.

* * * *

Okay Widdershins I hope this wasn’t too boring or snooze-worthy.  And also I violated Prolix’s 800 word rule by about 400 extra words.  Yikes!  Please take the conservation in any direction you wish.

 

Good Sunday Widdershins

Am I blue?  Well yes, indeed I am.  I’ve actually been blue since, oh, maybe November of last year.  Instead of having the most qualified person to possibly ever be the Chief Executive of the country, we instead have a person that we can legitimately ask of him “Is he playing with a full deck?“.  This is not the way I intended to head into my “declining” years, so to speak.

Years ago, Fletcher Knebel wrote a novel called Night At Camp David about a president who’d gone mad. The evidence for that was that the bughouse president was lost in grandiose delusions about his place in the world.

[snip]

I have come to the conclusion that the president* has slipped his gears and that his control over the military—and over foreign policy—is as tenuous as his hold on rationality is. I have not felt this shaky about the state of the world since October of 1962.

[another snip]

Which brings us to the second part of the Knebel Paradox. It’s becoming very clear that the president* has farmed out his responsibilities as commander-in-chief—and most of his foreign policy—to the generals and ex-generals with whom he has surrounded himself.

So yeah,  that might tend to make one feel a bit azurish and with that in mind let’s listen to some songs about the blues.

* * *

1. Falling back into the blue ~ Miller Anderson

2.  When a blind man cries ~ Gary Barden

3.  Kind of blue ~ Miles Davis & John Coltrane

(4) Damn Right I’ve got the blues ~ Buddy Guy

(5) I’m torn down ~ Freddie King

* * *
BONUS VID CLIPS

You say you live on the left coast and you’re worried about those Korean rockets/missiles?  Fear not. Let’s call these “When Good Rockets Go Bad”

This was an entertaining one

Another Russian S-300 fail

This Chinese missile just couldn’t figure out which way to go

One from the Brits that didn’t go quite as planned

And lastly a Trident sub launch that didn’t go well

* * *

So there you go Widdershins.  Take this in any direction you wish.

 

 

 

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Our 2016 Ticket!

Our girl is gonna shine

Busted: Glass ceiling

HRC bumper sticker

She’s thinking “Less than 2 weeks I have to keep seeing that face”

Yeah I can make it

The team we’re on

Women’s March on Washington!

Right-click the pic for more info

Kellyanne Conway’s new job

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