The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Shchedryk

Posted on: June 17, 2022

Hello Widdershins,

The 1/6 Commission continues to hold hearings, revealing more and more details about how much planning Trump and Friends were doing to overthrow the US Government. 99.999999% of Republican went along with Trump’s plan. And they are all continuing to support him now. The notable exceptions you can count on maybe two hands. The coup is ongoing.

Also ongoing is the war in Ukraine. Putin continues offensives in parts of the country, even as other regions – including the capitol Kyiv – have seemingly resumed their normal lives. How odd to live a normal life in Kyiv while war rages not far away. Germany, France, and Italy continue to enable Putin by calling for Europe and US to not humiliate Putin. They continue to veto providing certain weapons to Ukraine. They continue to cast doubt on Ukraine being able to join the EU. This week the three leaders of these nations finally came to Kyiv to meet Zelenskyy. But someone called this image of Emmanuel Macron embracing Volodymyr Zelenskyy “Judas’ Kiss.” That may be what Zelenskyy is thinking.

French President Emmanuel Macron embracing Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv.
Mykola Leontovych

The ancient Ukrainian folk chant Shchedryk (based on a simple 4 note pattern, which people used to believe had magical properties) about a swallow that flew into a house on New Year (before Christianity came to Ukraine, New Year was in April), sang about all the good things the family had achieved, and promised to return the following New Year/Spring. The word “shchedry” actually means “generous.” After Christianity came to Ukraine, New Year moved to January and the chant became associated with the Feast of Epiphany, which took place on January 18th – what is called “The Old New Year” – which was New Year on the Julian calendar. Ukrainians called this the “Shchedry vechir,” or “Generous Evening.” (All other things aside: that’s how old Ukraine is, in spite of what Putin likes to believe when he discusses Russian history.) Back to Shchedryk: in 1904 the Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych (1877-1921) composed a song based on this ancient 4-note motif, for a cappella choir, though the song was not premiered until 1916. On January 21-22, 1921, Leontovych was visiting his parents for the Eastern Orthodox Feast of Nativity in the town of Tulchyn. A man asked the family to stay with them for the night because he had nowhere else to go. They agreed and he shared the room with Leontovych. In the morning the man – who turned out to be a Chekist (Soviet secret service agent) Afanasy Grishchenko – shot Leontovych, who bled to death from the wounds. Later that year, in October 1921, the Ukrainian National Chorus performed Leontovych’s Shchedryk in a concert at Carnegie Hall. Among those present was the American composer Peter Wilhousky – who was so struck by the work that he replaced the ancient Ukrainian text with completely unrelated English words, eventually copyrighted them, and today the composition is known in the West as the Christmas carol “Carol of the Bells.” While Leontovych is revered in Ukraine (in his own time, the French called him the Ukrainian Bach), in the West he is forgotten and and no one even knows he composed one of our most frequently performed songs. Here it is then: as composed by Leontovych in 1904, using the ancient 4-note motif, with its original ancient Ukrainian text.

Howdy Widdershins,

We have survived Thanksgiving. Hopefully everyone got stuffed! Now the season of Christmas music begins. Honestly, if anyone is fighting a War On Christmas, it should be over Christmas music. It’s everywhere. Every TV commercials. Every TV show will have a Christmas special. Every store and gas station is playing the same dozen Christmas songs, although it’ll be one of a billion different versions. Speaking of which: anybody that records a Christmas album at this point is just an ass. Like seriously, a royal ass. There is nothing left to say about “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” New Christmas albums should be made illegal. Anybody that attempts to record one should be sent into space, one way.

This is an open thread, as always.

Today, an ear witness to the infamous “I need you to do me a favor, though” Mango Moronic phone call with the Ukrainian President will testify in the House impeachment inquiry. His name is Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman, and he is a career public servant who was awarded the Purple Heart in Iraq. Unlike every “best people” Drumpf has surrounded himself with, Lt. Col. Vindman’s integrity is unquestioned. His public opening statement is here.

A few highlights:

When I joined the NSC in July 2018, I began implementing the administration’s policy on Ukraine. In the Spring of 2019, I became aware of outside influencers promoting a false narrative of Ukraine inconsistent with the consensus views of the interagency. This narrative was harmful to U.S. government policy. While my interagency colleagues and I were becoming increasingly optimistic on Ukraine’s prospects, this alternative narrative undermined U.S. government efforts to expand cooperation with Ukraine.

[snip]

On July 25, 2019, the call occurred. I listened in on the call in the Situation Room with colleagues from the NSC and the office of the Vice President. As the transcript is in the public record, we are all aware of what was said.

I was concerned by the call. I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine. I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma, it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained. This would all undermine U.S. national security. Following the call, I again reported my concerns to NSC’s lead counsel.

Since this is the era of the 24-second news cycle, this incredibly explosive testimony is not actually the most important thing happening tomorrow. Tomorrow, the House is taking the next step in the impeachment process.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Monday the House would vote on Thursday to formalize the procedures of the impeachment inquiry into Trump and Ukraine, in what will be the first time the House will go on the record on the proceedings.

The vote signals a move into the next stage of the investigation following several weeks of closed-door depositions, as Democrats said the resolution would establish rules for public hearings, provide due process rights for the White House and allow information to be transferred to the committee that would ultimately consider the articles of impeachment.

House Democrats are discussing a time frame that would include public impeachment hearings before Thanksgiving and votes on whether to impeach Trump by Christmas, according to multiple Democratic sources. But Pelosi did not put a time frame on it at a closed-door leadership meeting on Monday to discuss the resolution and she has been hesitant to do so, as the timing is subject to change depending on how witnesses cooperate or if additional leads come up, according to multiple Democrats.

The impeachment inquiry has only been going on for about a month, and it has already uncovered widespread conspiracy and corruption, leading inexorably towards Putin and his Ukrainian and Turkish allies. It has done real damage to a “President” whose popularity was already low with everyone but the most die-hard deplorables.

In the two polls taken on the subject since the House’s impeachment inquiry began, a plurality of Americans have said they wanted to impeach and remove Trump. In no poll taken before then was this the case.

Here are a few other takeaways from the poll:

  • Our poll is not an outlier and is fairly close to the average spread in October of 48% who want to impeach and remove Trump from office and 44% who don’t.
  • Mike Pence’s net favorability rating (-7 points) is 7 points higher than Trump’s (-14 points).
  • More Americans want to impeach and remove Trump from office now than Americans did at this point of the impeachment sagas of Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon.
  • The percentage of Americans who feel strongly about Trump not being impeached and removed has dropped from 45% in the spring of this year to 37% now, which suggests Trump has room to lose more ground going forward.
  • Rudy Giuliani’s favorable rating is lower than ever, while Nancy Pelosi’s is the highest in over a decade.

Imagine what will happen by Christmas. I can’t wait to do my happy dance!

This is an open thread.

fireplace-ytgifs-o

WELL WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE ON CHRISTMAS EVE AND CHRISTMAS DAY?

 

DON’T YOU HAVE ANYTHING BETTER TO DO THIS WEEKEND?   iQvkpG5 - lmao

 

To quote from Charles Pierce’s Holiday post:

 

It will do us all good, I think, to take a weekend off from the cares of a world that seems to be coming apart from its mind outwards. It will do us all good, I think, to take this particular holiday slowly as it comes around. Even the pagans needed some excuse to rejoice in the darkest time of the year, which is why Christians copped the notion in the first place, and this has been a year with more than its share of dark times, god knows. And there’s no telling what’s coming down out of the deep woods come the next turning of the calendar. But very likely it’s something we’ve never seen before, or at least that’s the way I’m betting.

Hope struggled harder against events than it ever has this year, at least as far as I can remember. Between the deaths of iconic figures from Muhammad Ali to Prince to Arnold Palmer to David Bowie and the storm of ominous portents that gathered thickly from every point in the sky almost from the moment the presidential campaign began, hope had a long push up a dirt road in 2016. It may never make it to the top, but we owe hope the honor of spending at least one weekend having faith in hope.

We are stronger together than when we are separate.  Don’t let tRump and the Repubtards (that’s my new name for them since they like to call us libtards) break us apart.

 

 

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:

fireplace-ytgifs-o

Oh…and don’t drink too much of this:

Whoa!


Biden illustration: REBUILD WITH BIDEN

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Madam Vice President

Our President

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